Christmas Countdown #13

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Welcome to week 3 of 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.  Last week was so busy, I ended up taking a break from Countdown to Christmas, but this week I am back. Today I am actually featuring two books, because my niece wanted to share a Christmas book of her own!

Today’s picks are A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and The Santa Claus Book by Eileen Daly.

IMG_4773.jpgA Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens. It was first published by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation resulting from a supernatural visit by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success and critical acclaim. The book was written and published in early Victorian era Britain, a period when there was strong nostalgia for old Christmas traditions together with the introduction of new customs, such as Christmas trees and greeting cards. Dickens’ sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

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The Santa Claus Book is all about Santa delivering toys on Christmas Eve!

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A Christmas Carol is honestly such a delightful read!  Even if you’ve seen some of the many adaptations, the book is still worth the read.  Ebeneezer Scrooge is so memorable for a reason.  It’s quite short and I really think every book lover should at least give this one a try!


The Santa Claus Book is such a cute and fun picture book.  It is filled such gorgeous, vintage pictures, and it just puts you in such a Christmas-y mood.  My 5-year-old niece really adores this one and loves reading about Santa delivering presents!

Have you read either of these books? 🎄

 


 

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The Bookish Naughty List 2018!

bookish naughty list

Hey everyone! I know I’ve sort of fallen off the Blogmas train the past couple of days, but the final weeks of school were really kicking my booty.  That being said, I’m officially on winter break, and I could not be happier! 🙌🏼  This semester was b r u t a l!

Anyway, today I’m doing the Bookish Naughty List book tag again!  I did it last year, but let’s see how this year compares.  Will I be naughty or nice?!

Here we go!

Received an ARC and not reviewed it ✔

Ugh, yes I’ve done this and I always feel so bad about it!  I have every intention of reading all the ARCs I receive, I just don’t always get them done before they’re released.  I promise they’ll be read someday, though!

Have less than 60% feedback rating on NetGalley

Okay, so I really thought I was going to be naughty for this one.  I’m actually at 71% right now.  Plus, now that I’m on winter break, I’m hoping to read even more and get that percentage even higher!

Rated a book on goodreads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did) ✔

Here’s looking at you Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel 😂🙈

Folded down the page of a book

Nope! Dog-earring books isn’t my style. 😂

Accidentally spilled on a book

I have in the past, but not this year, thankfully! 🙌🏼

DNF a book this year ✔

There were a few this year that I started, didn’t get very far in, and decided that they weren’t the book for me right now.

Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it

It may take me years, but I do always do plan on reading every book I buy.  Do I actually end up reading every book? No…but my intentions are pure, I promise!

Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) ✔

Oh yes, I do this far too often.  In fact, I ended up turning in my final paper for the semester an hour before it was due because I may or may not have spent too much time reading instead of working…oops!

Skim read a book ✔

I’ll be honest, I don’t do this often, but if I’m reading a book that I’m really struggling to get through – especially when I’m almost done – I do skim some of the passages. 🙈

Completely missed your Goodreads goal

Not this year! 🎉🎉 I’ll have you all know that I’ve actually surpassed it! 💃🏼

Borrowed a book and not returned it to the library

My books may be returned late, but they always get returned!!

Broke a book buying ban ✔

Library book sales…I just can’t pass them up!

Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about

Hahaha! I’ve done this before, I admit. But not this year!

Wrote in a book you were reading

The only book I write in is my Bible, and I don’t really think that counts for this.

Finished a book and not added it to your Goodreads

I gotta make sure every book makes it to my Goodreads goal, so no for this one. Haha!

Borrowed a book and not returned it to a friend

No, I’m actually pretty good about returning things!

Dodged someone asking if they can borrow a book

😂😂 I’ve done this before, but I actually didn’t have to do this in 2018!

Broke the spine of someone else’s book

Not this year! 🙌🏼

Took the jacket off a book to protect it and ended up making it more damaged

Unfortunately, this happens to me a lot.  Surprisingly, this didn’t happen this year, though! 🎉

Sat on a book accidentally ✔

Yes, this has happened more times than I would like to admit. 🙈  Thankfully, the books were not harmed!

Final Score 7/20

Hey! I actually did pretty good this year! I guess I’m on the nice list after all!😁🎄


 

Are YOU on the bookish naughty list this year? I’d love to see your answers!


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Christmas Bookshelf Decor!

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Hello! Back in October, I shared with you all my autumnal/Halloween decorations for my bookshelves.  I had so much fun with that post, that I decided to do another one for Christmas! Today I’ll be sharing how I decorated my bookshelves for Christmas! 🎄


To start things off, here’s an overview of my main bookcase:

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I’ve spotlighted a different Christmas book on each shelf that is either on my December TBR or a Christmas favorite.

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My first two shelves feature A Nancy Drew Christmas and A Vintage Christmas.  They’re both books that are on my TBR this month.  I actually just started reading A Vintage Christmas, and so far it is everything I hoped it would be!  I also decorated my shelf with a tiny Christmas tree that I’ve had since I was a little kid. 😂

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This shelf also features a pendant banner I crocheted a couple years ago!  It was one of my first crochet projects that actually turned out really quite nice. 🙂

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I also have a lovely little snowglobe I bought at Target. 🙂  It plays “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” and the little cabin inside looks so cozy.  I just love looking at it!

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My next two shelves feature The Christmas Remedy and Skipping Christmas.  It also features this little wooden Rudolph that I’ve had for forever and a rocking horse ornament from my sister’s 1st Christmas. The string on it is broken, so we put it on the bookcase instead of the tree. 🙂

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On my other, hanging bookshelf, I lined it with festive ribbon I had laying around.  I also have my little Nativity scene set up there. 😊

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Next, this isn’t specifically bookish, but I found these adorable Dr. Seuss prints at Hobby Lobby!  I initially wanted all three prints to be from the Grinch (because it’s one of my Christmas favorites), but unfortunately, they were sold out of the rest of the designs.  I’m still quite pleased with the Cat in the Hat ones, though.  I also attempted to decorate them with so pine branches from the three outside!

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And lastly, I had to include my tree!  This was a new tree this year (I also got it from Hobby Lobby) and I am so in love with it!  It has two different textures of branches to make it look a bit more authentic, and it’s just the perfect size for my tiny room. 🙂

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And that wraps up my Christmas decor! I also have lights strung around my ceiling, but that was kind of hard to take a picture of, haha! My room is so cozy with all the decorations. I absolutely love snuggling in bed and reading a book after a long day with everything all lit up. 😊🎄♥

I hope you enjoyed looking at some of my Christmas decorations! Do you love decorating like I do? Or are you more minimalist? 

Thanks for reading!


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‘Tistheseasonathon Wrap-Up!

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Hello! So last week I participated in the ‘Tistheseasonathon, that went from December 3rd through the 9th. You can check out my TBR here. Today I’m going to be sharing how I did!


Alright, so technically I finished all the challenges, but I did not get to my whole TBR.

Here were the challenges:

CHALLENGE ONE: READ A BOOK WITH RED OR GREEN ON THE COVER.

CHALLENGE THREE: READ A WARM & FUZZY BOOK

CHALLENGE FOUR: READ A SHORT BOOK (200-250 PAGES)

CHALLENGE FIVE: READ A HOLIDAY THEMED BOOK

christmas remedy

The Christmas Remedy was the first book I read, and technically, that means I finished challenges 1, 3, 4, & 5. 😏

This was a really cute book, but it wasn’t super Christmas-y until the very end. // ⭐⭐⭐1/2 // My Review

CHALLENGE TWO: READ A BOOK WHILE LISTENING TO HOLIDAY MUSIC.

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Then, I listened to Christmas music while reading Silent Days, Holy Night, which means I finished challenge 2, as well!

This was such a sweet and heartwarming read. I could totally see it being on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries someday! // ⭐⭐⭐⭐ // My review

And, that’s all I read, lol! So, I sort of completed this readathon, just not in the way I had hoped. 😂


Did you participate in ‘Tistheseasonathon? Or are you participating in any other readathons this month? Let me know how you’re doing/did!

Thanks for reading! 🎄


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Book Review | Silent Days, Holy Night | Blog Tour + Giveaway!

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Hey everyone! Today I’m teaming up with JustRead Tours and Gilead Publishing for the blog tour to celebrate the recent release of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols. I’ll be sharing my thoughts about the book as well as how you can win a copy!

Here we go:

silent days holy night.jpegTitle: Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols

Pages: 240

Genres: Fiction, Inspirational, Christmas

Published by: Gilead Publishing (Oct. 20th, 2018)

Summary

The sounds of Christmases past echo through a silent house . . .  

Everyone in town knows Emerald Crest, the green granite mansion atop the highest hill: the legendary, lavish Christmas festivities that used to light up the nights— and the silence that followed when the parties abruptly stopped many years ago. And everyone has heard whispers about the reclusive, mysterious master of the manor, Henry Lafferty the Second . . .

When eleven-year-old Julia Russell steps into the great house for the first time and meets Mr. Lafferty, the entire course of her life is altered. She meets a man who is nothing at all like the rumors she’s heard from neighbors and classmates. He’s kind and extraordinarily talented—he also happens to be deaf and uses a wheelchair. And when she overhears a secret about him, Julia decides it’s time for the town to bring Christmas back to Emerald Crest—an act that will change them all forever.

Silent Days, Holy Night

what i thought

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to the author, Gilead Publishing and JustRead Blog Tours!*

This book was so sweet!  Going into this story, I thought I had an idea how this book would go.  While it sort of did, Silent Days, Holy Night ended up being so much more than I anticipated!

I absolutely loved all the characters in this novel!  Julia is so sweet and sassy and I just adored her.  I love how determined she was about everything.  Mr. Lafferty was the sweetest little cinnamon roll and, just like Julia, I wish I had him as a friend.

Silent Days, Holy Night was so well written, too!  The writing was so comfortable to read, if that makes sense.  It was just the perfect book to read, curled up on the couch with soft Christmas music playing in the background.

This book made me laugh and it also made me shed a few tears.  It is one that I will not soon be forgetting!  It also made me really want to start studying sign language again.

Silent Days, Holy Night is about loving others, friendships and embracing our differences.  This book is filled with the Christmas spirit, and it was honestly such an enjoyable read. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a sweet and heartwarming read this holiday season.

4 stars 2


Purchase Silent Days, Holy Night

Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Christian Book


giveaway

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(1) winner will receive (US only):

  • a print copy of Silent Days, Holy Night by Phyllis Clark Nichols
  • a print copy of Sleigh Bells Ring by various authors

Enter via the Rafflecopter giveaway below.

Giveaway will begin at midnight December 10, 2018 and last through 11:59pm December 17, 2018. US only. Winners will be notified within a week of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here

Click here to enter the giveaway!


about the author

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Phyllis Clark Nichols’s character-driven Southern fiction explores profound human questions using the imagined residents of small town communities you just know you’ve visited before. With a strong faith and a love for nature, art, music, and ordinary people, she tells redemptive tales of loss and recovery, estrangement and connection, longing and fulfillment . . . often through surprisingly serendipitous events.

Phyllis grew up in the deep shade of magnolia trees in South Georgia. Born during a hurricane, she is no stranger to the winds of change: In addition to her life as a novelist, Phyllis is a seminary graduate, concert pianist, and cofounder of a national cable network with health- and disability-related programming. Regardless of the role she’s playing, Phyllis brings creativity and compelling storytelling.

She frequently appears at conventions, conferences, civic groups, and churches, performing half-hour musical monologues that express her faith, joy, and thoughts about life—all with the homespun humor and gentility of a true Southern woman.

Phyllis currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She lives in the Texas Hill Country with her portrait-artist husband.

CONNECT WITH PHYLLIS: Website | Facebook | Twitter


tour schedule

To see the full tour lineup, click here!


tour schedule (2)

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Book Review | The Christmas Remedy

the christmas remedy.jpgTitle: The Christmas Remedy by Cindy and Erin Woodsmall

Genres: Christian, Christmas, Amish, Romance

Published by: Waterbrook Press (Oct. 23rd, 2018)

Summary

When an Old Order Amish woman takes a job at a small-town pharmacy struggling to survive in a world of “big box” stores, her motive is to help her Plain community. But the advent of the holiday season brings an unusual mystery to the surface–and possibly love.

Twenty-four-year-old Holly Zook lives a unique life for a young Amish woman. Years ago, her bishop allowed her to continue her education and become the lead technician for Greene’s Pharmacy, an old-timey drugstore that looks out for the Amish community–a group largely without secure healthcare plans. She knows she can’t marry and hold onto her professional job. She’s Amish, and she can only have one or the other, so she spurns love and works toward addressing treatable diseases–like the one that claimed her father’s life.

As long as Holly continues to avoid Joshua Smucker, the one man who draws her like a warm hearth in winter, she should be fine. When something unexpected threatens Greene’s Pharmacy, Holly and Joshua must work together to unravel what’s happened and find the “missing” patient before the Board of Pharmacy shuts them down. As the snows of December arrive, with Christmas in the air, will Holly succumb to the generous spirit of the season?

The Christmas Remedy

what i thought

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

This was such a sweet book!  I’m from Ohio, and so I’ve visited Amish Country many times throughout the years.  So when I was approached by the publisher to read and review this book, I was so intrigued by the plot that I had to say yes.

Continue reading

Give Thanks for All the Great Reads Book Tag!

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Hello!!  So, I totally meant to have this posted on Thanksgiving.  I thought it would be the absolute perfect thing for my blog since it is the day where celebrate and share what we are thankful for.  However, November was an absolute crazy month for me, and I never got the chance to do it.  So, here I am, doing the Give Thanks for All the Great Reads book tag now!  I was tagged by the lovely Abbey from Three Cats and a Girl to do this, and she is also the creator of the tag. 🙂

Rules

  • make sure to tag the creator (because she wants to see everyone’s answers and make her TBR even longer…) Abbey @ Three Cats and a Girl
  • make sure to tag the lovely blogger who tagged you (because they also love lengthening their TBR)
  • Give something that you are thankful for this year at the end of the post!
  • tag as many or as few bloggers as you like!

Alright, let’s get started!

You Turkey! ~ a book that made you laugh

the princess diaires

Any book my Meg Cabot makes me laugh!  The Princess Diaries series is especially funny!

I’m Stuffed ~ a book that completely satisfied you

dark halo

Dark Halo by Shannon Dittemore was such a satisfying ending to the Angel Eyes series!  I absolutely loved it.

Pumpkin Pie ~ the book you are looking forward to reading next

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I’m really looking forward to reading A Vintage Christmas!  It’s full of short stories and poems about Christmas by classic authors like LM Montgomery, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, and more!  I think this book will be so perfect for me. 🙂

 

Go Team! ~ a book where you found yourself really cheering for a certain character

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo

I have to go with Evelyn Hugo from The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo for this one.  Evelyn was by no means perfect, but I loved her so much and I just only wanted the best for her!

 

Macy’s Day Parade ~ a book that’s always there waiting on the bookshelf to be read and you know you’ll get to it eventually

pride and prejudice

The first book that came to mind for this one is Pride and Prejudice.  I’ve been meaning to read this book for so long now, but for one reason or another I keep putting it off.  It is one of my goals for 2019 to finally read this one!

 

Traditions ~ a book you could/do reread every year because it’s so dang good

anne of green gables

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery! It is one of my favorite books of all time, and I never get tired of it.  It’s been a couple years since I’ve read it last, so this is another one I hope to read in 2019!

 

I’m Thankful For ~ a book that really helped you in life

NancyDrewCLK

I have to go with the classic Nancy Drew series.  Growing up, those books shaped me so much.  As someone who was shy and kind of nervous, Nancy always inspired me to be the brave, independent, and the best me possible.  She was who I strived to be like when I was little (Okay, and still now 😂)!


I tag everyone who is reading this! 

Thanks again, so much, for tagging me Abbey!  I really loved doing this tag and thinking about all the books I’m thankful for. This was such a perfect book tag to do around this time of year when we are remembering, connecting with friends and family, and feeling extra thankful. ♥

Thanks for reading!

 

Blogmas Book Quotes | Laura Ingalls Wilder

Blogmas Book Quotes

Hey everyone! One of my favorite Blogmas series I do on my blog is Blogmas Book Quotes, where I share a Christmas-y themed book quote, and it is back!  I did this last December and I also did did something similar in October, except they were all fall/Halloween themed.  I just love looking for festive quotes! I always get in such a Christmas-y mood when I read them.

Today’s quote is not from a book, actually, but it is from the author of the Little House series.  When I saw this quote, I just fell in love with it and had to use it, even though it’s not technically from a book, that I’m aware of.


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“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmastime.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder


What’s one of your favorite childhood, Christmas memories? I would love to hear them!


 

Bookish Gift Guide

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Hey everyone!  With Christmas just around the corner, I thought it would be the perfect time to share my bookish, holiday gift guide!  This list includes items on my own wish list, as well as items I would recommend to other bookworms.

Here we go!


Bookish Mugs

I love mugs! You especially can never go wrong with a literary-themed mug.  Personally, I really adore all the Anne of Green Gables mugs from Shop at Sullivan.  Who wouldn’t want to drink out of a mug with Gilbert Blythe’s face on it?! I also love how the Kindred Spirits mug captures the essence of Anne of Green Gables!

Book Sleeves

Y’all book sleeves are the gift you didn’t know you needed until you have one!  I have one book sleeve and I absolutely love it.  As someone who usually always carries a book with her, it is so useful and really does protect your books!  I want more! My book sleeve is from Story Time Sleeve, but there are so many different styles, sizes, and brands to choose from!

 

Apparel

I love bookish clothing so much!!  I’m obsessed with Out of Print Clothing! I have a Nancy Drew sweatshirt from them that I bought a few years ago and it is one of the softest sweatshirts I’ve ever owned.  It’s held up really nicely throughout the years, too!  I also love the scarves Litographs sells.  I’ve been wanting one for ages now!  Literary Book Gifts also has a wide variety of of bookish shirts and tote bags featuring some of your favorite classic novels.  I need that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland tote bag and that Wizard of Oz tee!  The creator, Melissa, was kind enough to offer a 20% off code for you all as well with the promo code: THECALICOBOOKS20!

 

Book Light

Another thing a bookworm is always in need of is a really nice reading light!  I really love my French Bull light I found at Target.  It has two heads which means I don’t have to keep adjusting the light!

 

Home Decor

Who doesn’t want a fun pillow or cozy blanket?!  I have been eyeing these blankets from Sweet Sequels for so long now!  I’m also obsessed with PaperFury’s designs for her pillows!

 


Hopefully this list will help with your Christmas shopping!

What’s on your wish list this year?

 


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