Contemporary Fiction

The Winner's Curse... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, May 07, 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 Winner's Curse

Marie Rutkoski

The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski A Sneak Peek on Reading List

Goodreads Summary:

Winning what you want may cost you everything you love... 

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions. 

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin. 

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.

Sneak Peek:

"Arin wondered if she would lift her eyes, but wasn't worried he would be seen in the gardne's shadows.  He knew th elaw of such things: people in brightly lit places cannot see into the dark."   p 53

Initial Thoughts

This was another recommendation from Goodreads, and to be honest I am really interested in these characters.  They are very deep, with good and bad in them, which honestly makes them more real than most literary characters any more.  I'm a little concerned with the issues surrounding lying in order to more forward, but that I'm sure will cause the conflicts in the next books. I will be reading the rest of this series...

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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa @ Reading List

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. 

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Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

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.

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Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.

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, check them out!


Spring Theme Book Tag

Friday, May 06, 2016

Spring Themed Book Tag

When winter started last year, I shared a fun little post full of books with some kind of winter theme.  It was so much to put together, and even, more fun to see what everyone else came up with.  I had hoped to get a Spring list put together for when Spring began, but somehow it did not happen.  Well, never fear because I have pulled it together now!

Here is the deal, below you will find six categories that fit spring, and a book for each category that I picked.  Now this does not mean I am recommending the book, just that it the category.  The fun part is, after you check out my list, you get to create your own!  Just copy the categories and add your book.  It's so easy because you can pick books based on the cover, other's recommendations, or even books you read years ago (to be honest, I'd love to see someone do the entire list with only board books...).

So here we go!

Spring Theme Book Tag

  1.             Spring Showers: What would spring be without the life-giving showers that are a sure sign that spring is here?  Share a book that is a quick read and sure to lift your spirits.                              
          For me, spring showers mean quick bouts of rain that leave the world smelling and looking better, so I am going with To Kill a Mockingbird.  There might be a few scenes that are harder to read, but overall you can't keep a frown on your face after this one.                                                       
    2.      Colorful Flowers: After the showers come beautiful flowers of all colors.  Pick a book that has a pretty flower or floral pattern somewhere on the cover.                             
          While tulips and lilies certainly are gorgeous in spring, the bright yellow of daisies and sunflowers are what I wait for. So I have to with Remember Me? on this one - granted it might not be Sophie Kinsella's best book, but the flowers just jump right out no matter the edition.       
    3.      Shades of Green: Between the grass, the leaves on the trees, and all of the new flowers, there are so many shades of green everywhere in spring.  Can you think of a book that is driven by conflict over money?                                       
          The Great Gatsby is full of money themes - the lavish lifestyle is only possible with obscene amounts of money.  Moreover, the issue of materialism makes this book extremely relevant today.                                                                                                                                                 
    4.      Picnics & Strolls in the Park: After months of being stuck inside there is nothing like an escape to the park. Share a book that has an iconic scene in a park - or at least a book that has a scene in a park that was vivid to you.             
         I could list so many for this one... but I'm going with Romeo & Juliet.  Who doesn't remember the scene with Romeo in the garden outside of Juliet's window?                                                          
    5.      All Things Fresh & New: Spring is the season for new, share a book that has caught your eye this season and is brand new - even if you haven't read it yet, or might not ever!                           
          Everywhere I look I see The Way I Used to Be. While I haven't found the time to read this one, I am sure I will as the topic is so important for women today, and it is getting excellent reviews.                                                                                                                                                         
    6.     Running Shoes, Flip-flops, Sandals, Rain bootsYou have to admit the selection for footwear goes up significantly in the Spring.  Pick a book that showcases a foot or shoe on the cover.            
             The first book that came to mind is Cinder - that cyborg foot with a bright red pump... I mean how can you forget such a cover?

A Tag post is no fun unless you tag some others to join in!  So here are my tags:
Now it's your turn!  Feel free to copy the categories above, and create your own tag post.  Don't forget to tell those you tag to join in the fun!

If you're in for the tag - grab this image for your own post so others can join us. Then share your link in the link up below. 

Are you in?  Have you taken part in a tag post before? 

Marissa  @ Reading List

**If you are interested in adding any of these books to your home library, please consider using the affiliate links on this page, or my link below.  Thank you for supporting Reading List. 

Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #141

Thursday, May 05, 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!

May's Reading List Freebie

I have been trying to find different prints to decorate my mantel for each season, and after spending way too many days shopping at the local stores, I decided to create my own.  Of course that means I want to share them with this community!  These prints are sized to print on an 8 x 11 sheet, so you might have to size them down to fit in your frame... I have them printed to fit into 5 x 7 frames and they are pretty cute.  One is a scripture verse, and another one of my favorite Tolkien quotes.  I hope you like them!   

Remember, you will receive these in your weekly email for the link up. So if you are not getting that email sign up!  You just have to leave your email in that annoying pop up...  Or shoot me an email and I'll add you to the list (my email can be found at the bottom of this page).  Thanks again for being part of the community. 

May Freebie for Reading List Community Members

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Joanna from Mums.Kids.Jesus: 110 Great Books for Boys; Part 2. She has a wonderful collection of books for boys 10+ (although that isn't a set line...) 
110 Great Books for Boys part 2 from Mums.Kids.Jesus a feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Caroline from Caroline Cocker: 10 Great Kid's Books I'd Recommend to Anyone.  She shares her ten favorite books to read no matter your age. 
10 great kid's books I'd recommend to anyone from Caroline Cocker a feature 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 the 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

Calming the Mind While the World Speeds By

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Declutter Your Mind

Michelle Evans

Maybe it's being a mom, but never in my life have I experience mind clutter like I do now.  Keeping track of the schedules for the five people who live under my roof takes up more brain space than I seem to possess.  Anyone else know what how this feels?

You know, when you have to schedule out your week completely so that you have time to take a shower...  yeah... no?

For this reason alone, I was willing to give Michelle Evans' Declutter Your Mind a shot.  I mean any tips on how to keep my mind clear of extra clutter seems like an important ability for any mom in today's world.

Declutter your mind by Michelle Evans

Story Overview 

Michelle Evans has put together 12 little baby steps that will help you declutter your mind which can result in more joy and calm in your everyday life.  She walks you through clearing your mind by avoiding stores, that being selfish in having a clear mind will help others around you, and how to do less and achieve more in the process. 

Evans shares the 12 steps, in 3 categories, that she has implemented in her own life to help rid herself of the mental clutter that can rob us from calm and joy in this busy world.  This is a quick read that allows the reader to see just how Evans has decluttered her mind and allows the reader to try out any of the steps that might benefit them.  

Personal Likes

The focus on the mind, and not your eating habits or whatever, was nice to see in a book like this.  We all know that food and exercise have an impact on our minds, but hardly anyone talks about the smaller steps that we can take in order to clear out the mind while we work on the eating and physical habits.

I really appreciated Evan's breakdown of FoMo.  The Fear of Missing Out seems to be a real thing these days - and I would agree with her, that it stems from the use of social media.  We want to be part of everything and then stress out over everything, and the cycle results in a crazy mind.  So her step on FoMo was fun.

It was also interesting that she points out that there are times we need to stop over thinking and just do. In fact, she says there are times when we should probably just not think period.  Make a decision and then act on it, follow through without analyzing it forever.  And that is probably really good advice for some things.

Declutter your mind by Michelle Evans

Personal Dislikes

The more I read, the less I felt like I really understood about the mental clutter Evans was talking about.  I am an organized person, and I am starting to realize that organization includes my mind.  Plus some of her steps worked for her, but would not help others at all.  She suggests waking up earlier to get more accomplished before leaving for work... this isn't very helpful if you are a stay-at-home kind of person who already wakes up before most.  

Another odd point she made was near the end about aromatherapy, which I am not against, but her breakdown on picking a new scent and then going through painstaking steps to make sure you don't experience the scent until the moment you are ready to relax is a little much.  

No offense because I do know that multi-tasking is not something that everyone should be doing all of the time.  But I have always felt better when I multitask, and I do not see it as an evil option in accomplishing more quickly... that is just me. 

Reading List Rating

Three heart rating on Reading List

I am only going to give this book three hearts.  While it is well organized and clearly gives steps to practically declutter the mind, I am not sure I am the ideal reader for it.  For some people I could see this book being extremely helpful, I am just not one of those people. 

My Suggested Audience

Adults who have an office job are probably the ideal audience here.  Those who are feeling the pressures of a 9-5 and balancing a home life on top of it could benefit from more of the steps in this handbook.  If you are the kind of person that is always curious how other people stay organized and calm day in and day out, you might be interested in hearing Evan's story, which is what this is. 

Wondering Questions to Consider

Has our society resulted in too much clutter in our minds?  Do we, as a society, have a fear of missing out when we see what others are doing in the midst of our dailies? How do we as individuals take control over our minds in order to be happy, feel joy, and stay calm in a world that moves a million miles a minute? 

Don't over think things, or just don't think at all... #DeclutterYourMind @Reading_List1

Do you feel like your mind is cluttered?  Do you suffer from FoMo? How do you stay calm while the world whizzes by?

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

Marissa @ Reading List

***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! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author, Michelle Evans. 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:


Raining Day Activity - Wild About the Bible

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Children's Corner: Rainy Spring Days

Wild About the Bible Sticker & Activity Book

There is no doubt that Spring is a wonderful season.  The sun actual warms up the air and the ground, the trees fill the sky with hues of green, and so many flowers appear out of almost nowhere.  The downside is all the rain that comes in order for the magical colors of Spring to appear.  This year those rains have been coming on cooler winds, which has meant more days spent inside.  Have you tried to explain to a toddler that she can't go outside because it's too cold and wet today, even though yesterday was sunny and warm?  Yeah, it's not that easy!

Adventure Bible Wild About the Bible Activity Book

As a result, we have been going through as many activity books as I can get my hands on.  All three of my kids enjoy different aspects of these classic coloring books.  And there are so many out there!

Recently we found a super fun activity book, Adventure Bible: Wild About the Bible.

About the Book

This fun activity book has thirty-two pages of activities ranging from coloring, mazes, word searches, dot-to-dot, crosswords, and much more.  There are even fifty stickers included to fill in some of the colorful pages.  While some of the activities are simple for younger kids (dot-to-dot, coloring, stickers) there are some challenging pages for your older kiddos - crossword puzzles and secret messages to decode.

All of the pages reflect the Bible and Bible characters, such as Moses, Ruth, Boaz, Noah, Esther, and Jesus, to name a few.  However, the book itself is not focused on telling Bible stories, or even teaching Biblical truths.  The book assumes the reader already is familiar with the stories and characters, this is simply a fun activity book that reflects the Bible.

Why We Like It

In an effort to show that our faith is more than a religion, we have been trying to find ways to incorporate the Bible into our days in ways that seem "normal" to our kids.  Coloring and such is a very regular and normal activity they encounter everywhere, so it is nice to have a book that is simply showing the Bible in this common way for them.  I do not see this as a means to teach them about the Bible, so much as an activity book to help keep the screen time to a minimum on rainy days.

My boys really love the secret messages that need to be decoded.  My oldest is starting to enjoy crossword puzzles because he can do them by himself.  And even my toddler has enjoyed this book, because of the stickers and coloring pages.  So there is truly a nice mix of pages in this book.

My only warning is about the stickers.  The book claims to have fifty reusable stickers, and there are fifty stickers.  I am just not so sure I would call them reusable. Which in all fairness, is not necessary for the book. But just fair warning. 

Adventure Bible Wild About the Bible Activity Book

Title: Adventure Bible: Wild About the Bible  Sticker & Activity Book
Publisher: Zonderkidz
Publication Date: April 2016
For ages: 4-8

Do your kids enjoy activity books on rainy days? What about sticker books?  #AdventureBible @Reading_List1

Looking for some fun Bible inspired activities you can do today? Try one of these! 

  1. Try a collection of 10 free Bible Verse Coloring pages.
  2. Find the hidden image coloring pages are also fun.
  3. The collection of coloring pages are more intricate for your older kids, and there is one for each book of the Bible.
  4. Color by number is often a big hit with kids. 
  5. We can't forget the mazes!

What are some of your go tos when it is rainy and cold out but you don't want to turn on the TV? Do your kids enjoy activity books?  Which activity do they enjoy most?

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.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, Zonderkidsz and BookLook Bloggers. 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.”

***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!

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