The Memory of Light... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

The Memory of Light

Francisco X Stork

The Memory of Light by Francisco X Story a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"You are not the clouds or even the blue sky where clouds live. You are the sun behind them, giving light to all, and the sun is made up of goodness and kindness and life." p 111

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads

Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away -- You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops:


Book review

All Things Books: January's Collection

Friday, January 29, 2016

All Things Books

January Collection

"If you don't love to read, you just haven't found the right book." (Tim Green) 

There is something about that quote that should catch our attention.  Life today, for most, is full of go and movement and next. It can be exhausting, yet so many refuse to sit and relax and be calm.  The thing about books is that you can sit and relax physically while you can engage your mind in a way so many screens refuse to do.

The next thing is - since our lives are so fast pace it is hard to know how to pick up a book that might engage, or entertain you.  We can rely on the number of five-star reviews on popular online sites (not that we are going to read said reviews, just glance at the number next to the rating), or we can stick to the best sellers lists.  But many of us have been burned by a pick from one or both of these methods.

All Things Books  The January Collection  A link round up on Reading List

Then, there is the chance of getting a recommendation from a trusted friend, this tends to be our best bet. And for that reason, I try to be as honest as I can with my reviews. Maybe you could come to trust me as a "book" friend who will honestly tell you about a book, and you can decide if you want to pick it up. The plus to allowing me to become your reading pal is once you read a book, you get to come over to this little Cozy Reading Spot and share all about it!

However, there is no way I could read enough books to provide thoughts and reviews on all the genres all of you would be interested in - trust me, I would love to do this for you.  Instead, I am going to provide a monthly round-up of great book reviews, observations on genres, really anything related to reading from some of my favorite bloggers.

The goal is that you can find a book you love each month and by 2017 you might just consider yourself a lover of books.

January's Collection

  1. Jennifer at The Homework Diaries put together a wonderful list of books she wants to read in 2016 with a quick reason why she picked it. It is quite the list full of Christian focus books, homeschooling support and more - some I have read, others I have not.  If you are looking for a few suggestions to inspire and encourage you this year still, Jennifer just might have a great suggestion for you.  My Must Read Books for 2016    
  2. Joy Forney is going to do a monthly book club - this month they did You and Me Forever... stop by and see their discussion.  Joy is always a fun blogger to check in on as she parents and travels... well I won't steal her story if you don't already know.  She is asking her readers how they are filling their souls in this new fresh year in order to be more devoted.  Stop by for some encouragement, this is especially good for the mamas. 
  3. Jonathan at Eagle Soaring Higher is hosting a great book club facebook group - they just recently started working through The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John C Maxwell.  In his introduction blog post, Jonathan goes over the main idea from the book.  If you are at all involved in running a business of any kind, you might want to check this out. Introduction to The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and the Law of the Lid
  4. Melissa put together an amazing list of books from the '80's for today's teen's... do you remember any of these?  I will be honest, there are some on this list that I totally want my kids to read when they are teenagers, but there are others on this list that I'm not too sure I want my kids spending their time on.  Plus many of the books Melissa shares are certainly for mature teens.   13 Books From Your '80's Childhood Your Kids Need to Read
  5. I'm a huge fan of children's books, partly because of the simple timeless wisdom! While this image has been floating around for a while now, it caught my attention yet again this month and reminded me that many lessons can be taught with children's books and that is a beautiful thing.  Children's Books Figured Out Life Long Ago
  6. And because seriously, this picture explains why movies, while a completely different medium, are not the same as reading the book! Facebook image from The Writer's Circle

I hope you found a thing or two from that list that caught your eye, maybe you could reserve a book at your library, or add to your Goodreads to-read list.   If you want some encouragement as you find books you love, please join our group on Goodreads, we'd love to be there as you fall in love with books.  

"If you don't love to read, you just haven't found the right book."  #AllThingsBooks @Reading_List

What was your favorite from the roundup?  What would you add?  

Leave me a note about anything to do with your book choices from January!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you have a great resource for a book, a genre, or anything to do with books, let me know!  You are always welcome to share your posts on Thursdays here, but if you want to point me to a great resource, leave a comment, or shoot me a note.  I love hearing from you!

Check out these great hops:


Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #127

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Sarah at Abiding in Grace: I've Found Something I Can't Live Without.  She shares a book that has changed the way she and her husband are teaching their kids about gratitude. 

I've found something I can't live without... a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot on Reading List

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by HeInspiredMe: 10 Male Christian Bloggers You Need to Follow.  He shares a collection of male bloggers and why you need to follow them, very interesting. 

10 Male Christian Bloggers you need to follow a feature on the Cozy Reading Spot on Reading List

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page.
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

See where I link up!

Book review

The Memory of Light

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The Memory of Light

Francisco X Stork

Is it really that big of a surprise when a child follows into the same career path as his parent? Children are amazing observers and mimickers. It only follows that the conversations children hear their parents have about work sink in.  In a small way, children learn their parent's trade simply by being in the house.  It is part of their world, and therefore, their reality.

For me, I grew up hearing about those with mental illness, as my father works nights in a mental hospital.  As a result, I was surprised when at school I learned that most people did not discuss this topic - while illness was discussed, mental illness was avoided, sometimes outright ignored.  Yet, anxiety, depression, and suicide are extremely prevalent in the world we live in.

To follow in the idea that society tries to keep mental illness, depression and suicide on the sidelines, literature can sometimes suffer when it comes to characters with these issues.  The authors do not know how to portray mentally ill characters well, or worse yet the illnesses are the basis for the "evil" characters.  Granted this is not always the case, but the good books are few and far between I have noticed.

Needless to say, I was more than excited to get my hands on Stork's newest book, The Memory of Light, as the story follows Vicki as she comes to the realization that she attempted to commit suicide because she has depression, and what that means moving forward...

The Memory of Light by Francisco X Stork  a book review on Reading List

Story Overview 

When Vicky Cruz wakes up in the Lakeview Hospital Mental Disorders ward, she knows one thing: She can't even commit suicide right. But for once, a mistake works out well for her, as she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she's never had.

But Vicky's new found peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up, sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide, Vicky must try to find the strength to carry on. She may not have it. She doesn't know.

Author: Francisco X. Stork
Release Date: January 26, 2016
Pages: 336
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

About the Author

Francisco X. Stork is the author of the acclaimed Marcelo in the Real World which received five starred reviews and won the Schneider Family Book Award for Teens; The Last Summer of the Death Warriors, named a New York TimesEditors’ Choice selection; and Irises. He was born in Monterrey, Mexico, spent his teenage years in El Paso, Texas, and now lives outside Boston, Massachusetts, with his family. Visit him online at  

Personal Likes

I absolutely loved this book.  Vicki is a wonderful example of a teenager realizing that depression is an illness, not the sum of a person.  She is able to glean wisdom from each of the characters she meets in the book, which is an amazing lesson so many of us could learn.   

Most importantly, Stork did not turn this into a story that was overly dramatic or even sentimental.  Yes, there are some sad scenes, and there is drama, and yet it is natural.  The discussion of many different kinds of mental illness is straightforward and honest. As Vicki is telling the story in first person, we are able to read how her mind grasps thoughts, instruction and feelings. While she sees herself as a teenager who does not fit in to her family, who cannot succeed at anything and has nothing, no wants or hopes, it quickly becomes clear that she is loving and caring and wants to be helpful. 

The most intriguing part of this story for me personally surrounded Gabriel's character.  For a long time it is not clear why he is even in the mental hospital, but once he gains enough courage to share his battle with the small group, it becomes clear he has quite the battle ahead of him... I cannot really say more without spoiling the book.  However, with Gabriel, Stork shined a light on a side of mental illness that pulls this book out of just a young adult story and into a must read for everyone. 

Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all the darkness.

Personal Dislikes

I really do not have any issues this book - but allow me to make two small points that others might get hung up on:

While Gabriel's story line was amazing to me, it could also cause some discomfort to many readers (again I do not want to give too much away, so bare with me).  His condition leads to some rocky territory about God, the nature of God more specifically. By the end of the story, it was all worth it, but I am guessing a  reader or two might not give it the chance it deserves.

Another minor point, was near the end when Vicki sends up two or three attempts at prayer... It felt odd that she suddenly prayed as she and her family did not seem to be religious.  If the point was, in an emergency, God is the natural entity we as humans reach for, then yes, but still it seemed a little out of character...

Reasons to Read

I believe if you have a pulse you should read this book.  It helps those who struggle with depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, or any of the multitudes of mental illness see that they are not alone in their thoughts and struggles.  For those who know someone who attempted suicide, or has any kind of mental illness, this book will help you see a glimpse into what their struggle might be.

Want some more opinions?  Check out the other stops on The Memory of Light Book Tour:

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
1/18/2016- BookishLifestyleInterview
1/19/2016- Here's to Happy EndingsReview
1/20/2016- StorybookSlayersGuest Post
1/21/2016- Such a Novel IdeaReview
1/22/2016- LiteraryMeanderingsInterview

Week Two:
1/25/2016- Worth Reading It?Review
1/26/2016- The Bibliophile ChroniclesGuest Post
1/27/2016- Reading List- Review
1/28/2016- Paranormal Book ClubInterview
1/29/2016- Curling Up With A Good BookReview

Reading List Rating

Five Heart Rating on Reading List

I have to give this book a five heart rating, as it was magnificent. It was well written, clearly well researched, and the message it sends about hope is priceless. 

My Suggested Audience

This book is categorized as a teen book, specifically for 12 and up.  Considering the topic, I would agree that readers should be around 12.  There is nothing that a younger reader should not read, but they might not understand it either.  However, do not allow the teen category to scare you adult readers away - consider this an easier, quicker read that will enrich your desire for hope and life while educating you on mental health through a literary vantage.  I do honestly believe if you pick up this book you will not be disappointed. 

Win a Copy!

The Memory of Light Book Tour, hosted by a Rock Star

The best part of being in a blog tour is a chance for you all to win a copy!  5 winners will receive a finished copy of THE MEMORY OF LIGHT, US Only.

When you mourn it means you care. But when you can't mourn? It means you're dead inside. #TheMemoryofLight @StorkFrancisco @Reading_List1

Do you know someone who would benefit from this book? Is there a book that you read that helped you become emphatic in a way you didn't know you needed to be? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

****Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and Rock Star Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Linking up with these fun hops:


The Green Greed Snake: Learning Consequences

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Greedy Python & Learning Consequences

It is a safe bet that if you are a human living in a first world environment, you have met the green monster of greed. In fact, you do not have to be an adult to have come across this slimy creature. Kids figure out the concept of mine and now almost as fast as they learn how to scream and run.

Of course our culture does not help with this little issue, does it?  It shows up in cartoons, music and movies all of the time, and not just in the form of the "bad guy".

With three kids, the greed issue can often be overwhelming, which of course means that the mommy "desire" for calm and quiet succumbs to the greedy snake too... what you haven't taken a "mommy time out" multiple times before lunch too?

To complicate matters, to allow the natural consequences of greed (have I mentioned my kiddos respond best to natural consequences...) is rarely practical for parents.  Right?

The Greedy Python with crafts and activities

Which is why I am glad my kids love to hear The Greedy Python by Richard Buckley & Eric Carle.

About the Book

The Greedy Python** is a colorful book that follows a particularly greedy python as he searches continuously for his next meal. In the process kids will see new animals and practice counting to ten.  Most importantly, the impatience and greed of the python end in dire consequence on the final page.

Why We Like It

I think my kids love this book partly because of the mix of animals- a python, a mouse, an elephant, a jaguar... just to name a few - a partly because the python eats all of these animals.  They just giggle over the idea of a snake eating so much, even to their young brains it is obvious this python is eating too much, too fast.

I greatly enjoy this book because the python, in his haste and greed, brings about his own demise. A life lesson about what can happen we allow greed to dictate all of our actions might not be what draws my kids to sit and listen to this one again and again, but the truth is being imprinted on their little brains each time we laugh at the greedy python.

Title: The Greedy Python
Author: Richard Buckley
Illustrator: Eric Carle
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date:  1985; reissued July 2009
For ages: 2+  (Great book for an emergent reader to read to a younger sibling)
Type: Children's Fiction, Animals

How do you teach your kids the consequences of greed? #parenting @Reading_List1

Call to Pinterest page and ideas  

  1. Create pythons for your kids to act out the story while you read
  2. Print out coloring sheet, activity sheets and more for The Greedy Python
  3. Check out The Lorax to look at greed from a different angle
  4. Or this lesser known Seuss book that will help with gratitude (crafts and activities here too!)

How do your kids best learn the big lessons? Do you try to teach with stories and books? Which book has had the biggest impact on you and your kiddos?

Marissa on Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here and support Reading List in the process. 

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

Linking up with here:
While I'm Waiting...Bes of BabyPat and CandyThe Felicity Jar

Get our weekly newletter

Like me on Facebook