Book Search

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According to the 2022 Reading Challenge on the GoodRead app I am two books behind schedule. I am not sure how that is all worked out but I have been slacking in the book department. Currently I have six book in the my reading queue on the app. The first book in the queue was started on Jan 20, 2021 and I haven’t touched it since last summer. The second book in the queue was started on Feb 5, 2021 and I read some of the book not that long ago. The thing is this book is not very long but I am physically reading it so I have to remember to actually open it up on my phone to read. I am hoping to have that book done this week. The third book in the queue was started on Dec 29, 2021 and I was reading it off and on when I would go to my appointments. I need to get it out of the car and have it in the house so I can pick it up once again. The only issue is the kids like to grab it and hang onto it.

The other three books were just added this last week and I have been listening to them off and on. The one is super long and it’s filled with a lot of information because it’s a non-fiction about historical facts. I mention it in the post for book number 9. The other two were recommended by the author of the book I mention in the post for book number 8. I am always looking for new books ideas. I currently have 74 books in the queue for want to read. I may need to go look at the list and see what I have had added over the years to see if I still feel the same way. Book number five in the reading challenge is actually from that list because I was bored listening to the same books so I decided to choose a random book. I also choose it because it was the first book that was available on Libby for an audiobook.

The first book on the Want To Read queue was added Aug 16, 2013 which makes me laugh because I think I started to read that book and maybe I read the whole thing. The issue is I don’t remember much of it and I wanted to read it again in hopes I can remember why I wanted to read this book in the first place. Then there is a gap between the first book to the second book which was added Jan 1, 2018. I looked over the list and realized there was a few books that I have finished over the years but they were still in my “Want to Read” queue. Then I counted about 11 books that I started to read at some point and never finished it. I would have to restart those books from the beginning since I do not remember what I read.

The one book I’m currently listening too has really inspired me to begin the process of picking out books to read out loud to my kids. I will be on the hunt for older books and new series that may be some interest to my kids. I know that most of them being so small won’t really appreciate it but that’s not the point. I want my kids to LOVE reading. I want them to get lost in the world of books. Reading is so important for a person development. Homeschooling will be easier once the kids are strong readers. Our soon to be ten months old daughters will pick up a book and talk to it. This makes me happy because I feel that I have lacked her in this department but my husband pointed out she sees her brothers doing this all the time. I may not be reading as much as I have in the past with my other kids but she is seeing the example of what a book could be by her older brothers.

I will continue to keep an ear out for suggestions of books to checkout. I will try to read books that may go against what I think/feel about a certain situation. I do not do this often but I know I should be open to it. It’s easy to surround yourself with like-minded people but it’s good to be open to see what other people are saying about a topic. I am not an very easily persuade person so I don’t fear I will read a book and be convinced to walk away from everything I have ever believed. I know for some people this can be an issue. I guess I am hoping I will awaken something new in me if I read a book I may not of chosen for myself. I remember reading about a girl who had to ride on public transportation and it was often a long ride. She would read random books on her trip and one day she grabbed a book off the shelf. It was a book she would of not normally chosen but she had nothing else. The book talked about marine biology and she found that she couldn’t put it down. She ended up awakening a passion inside her that she did not know existed. Years later she became a Marine Biologist. I know that the chances of that happening for a lot of people are slim but that is an experience I hope to have one day. Even if it’s just a hobby or a cause I can support.

What is on your reading list?
What book did you read just because and found you actually enjoyed?
Have you ever read a book that changed your life?
Are you open to a new genre?
How did you discovered a genre that ended up being your favorite?

My husband had a sub in one of his elementary classes. She did a reading aloud and she read a book by Brian Jacques who wrote the Redwall Series. It was this book that exposed my husband to a new genre that he ended up loving and hopes to read to his kids one day.

Reading Challenge Book 10 – Let Us Prey

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 10 of 50

Let Us Prey – written by R. Glenn Ball and Darrell Puls. I highly recommend this book for Christians in general to read. Over the years the word Narcissist began to be thrown around so I got interested in the subject. I forget how I found this book but I started to read it a while ago and FINALLY finished it this past week. The author focuses on churches in Canada but the information can be applied to any demographic.

I have recommended this book to a few people even before I finished it. It’s unfortunate how often we are exposed to people with this disorder. It’s amazing how often we find these type of people in leadership roles within the church. In my studies I have found I have know a couple of people who fall into this disorder. One person who is in a leadership role is aware of their narcissistic traits and they try to keep it at bay as much as possible. The book actually talks about people who are aware and they have done things to keep it in check.

Towards the end of the books it talks about ways to deal with the after mass of someone who has destroyed a church or left it in shambles. I unfortunately have known to many people who have left ministry due to these type of personality. There are some who walked away from everything. Then there are some who are trying to work through the experience – unsure why it happened. I feel that the more we educate ourselves about these type of personality, we can help people handle the situation before it’s to late. What makes me crazy is how a lot of Christian will blame themselves when dealing with this personality disorder because they want to be a good Christian and there is no way a pastor could be this way, right?

I have listened to a podcast recently about a downfall of a church and the lead pastor is the definition of narcissistic. The thing is the pastor left the old church and started a new one in another state. It’s been going for five years. I have a hard time understanding why this person is allowed in leadership but I do know God can use anyone and can take a situation and make it good. I just hate knowing that a lot of people will blame themselves over things because that is how a narcissist works. If you have left a church due to the leadership – you may want to read this book, if you have been apart of a church where the lead pastor had everyone/everything under their thumb – you may want to read this book, if you want to know what to look for when it comes to Narcissistic behaviors – you may want to read this book, if you had a lead pastor leave and it was left with a lot of hurt/confusion – you may want to read this book, and if you know people who have these traits but it seems like they aren’t that bad – you may want to read this book.

Keep in mind the church is not the only place you find people with this disorder. It can be challenging navigating and figuring out if you are dealing with someone who is all about themselves. Is it possible to be all about one self with out these traits/disorder? Recently I have seen articles about a famous male from a TLC show that people keep saying he is a narcissist but I found a licensed therapist explain why that is not the case. Just because we think someone may struggle with this disorder we should take the time to truly understand it.

Reading Challenge Book 9 – A Woman of No Importance

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 9 of 50

A Woman of No Importance: The Untold Story of the American Spy Who Helped Win World War II – written by Sonia Purnell. I do not normally read books like this one. I was watching a YouTube channel and the woman shares in one of her post the books she read in the month she posted the vlog. This was on her list and I thought it was an interesting topic. As I already stated I don’t typically read books like this one but I like to try to be open to new books. Honestly if it wasn’t for the post I would of never heard of this book. I listened to this book on audio and it was a good listen. I sometime have a hard time listening to non-fiction on audio but I kept the speed to normal for most of the book. I think when I was almost done I decided to try it at a higher speed.

If you are a history buff and you like to learn about the variety of people who played a part in the war I would recommend this book. I personally wanted to be a mom and once upon a time wanted to be a stay at home mom. Then I liked working after having my first child so I no longer wanted to be one. Now I wouldn’t change anything because I love being home with my kids. I say all that because not everyone has that type of dream and it was nice to read about a woman who felt a certain way. Virginia Hall did not let the pressure of the times and her family keep her from doing what she felt was best. She did not let things get in her way and she was good at what she did. I don’t want to give away any key stories in the book but she was a strong and smart woman. She had a lot of favor on her side when it came to certain situations.

I personally don’t know a whole lot when it comes to WWII and I’m currently listening to another book called Operation Paperclip. This event was mention at the end of the book I just read but I already had it on my list to read. It’s important on some level to be educated about the past wars mostly so we don’t repeat history. A lot of people played a lot of roles in the war and it was nice to see someone who was so determine to make a difference they did not let anyone or anything get in their way. She is inspiring because even when a major setback happened in her own life before she left to help in the war. She did not let it keep her from moving ahead. If you like to listen to audio books – I recommend to listen to the book.

Reading Challenge Book 8 – Love Without Borders

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 8 of 50

Love Without Borders – written by Angela Braniff. When I found out I was expecting twins I was feeling overwhelmed that I was going to have six kids. I started to look for other families who have multiple kids. I came across a vlog titled The Gathered Nest. I began to watch some of her videos and I enjoyed listening to her and seeing her family. It took me a while before I subscribed to both her channels. YouTube will suggest you to watch older videos of people you subscribe too and I started to watch older videos. I began to watch her homeschooling videos because I officially have to register our son in the fall and I like hearing other people stories. She suggests different resources she has used over the years. It didn’t take long to see videos of her talking about writing a book. I did not watch the videos in order so I would see one video from 4 years ago and another video that was only 9 months old.

The more I watched her videos and listen to the stories of how her family came together I wanted to read her book. I couldn’t find it on Libby and I knew getting a paper copy would mean it would sit on my shelf for awhile. I finally got it on Audible and listened to it in one day. I typically listen to audiobooks with a higher speed but with books like these I typically keep them at normal speed. Angela the author also did the voice for the audio. I enjoy listening to her when I am cleaning and doing stuff around the house it was easy to listen to her tell her story. She is a woman of great faith and I believe she is only a year older then me and our birthday is a day apart. I know that when we share our lives on social media we can show what we we want about ourselves. I really like her and there are things she says and does that makes me think of me. I shared in another post that I have found inspiration thought watching vloggers on YouTube. She is a big one at this time in my life.

The book is her sharing her story about how her family became a family. You learn more details about the journey. It is inspiring and if you are family who have adopted or considering adopting I would say check her book out. I like how they had different types of adoptions. I have known a handful of people who have adopted and once upon a time I thought I wanted to adopt. I later discovered I like the idea of adopting but I personally do not believe that is apart of our story. I am not saying never but what I do know that God would have to do some moving to make everyone in our home open to the idea. I also have learned about embryo adoption. I did not know that was a thing until I heard her story about the twins. I am currently pregnant with twins so of course I am curious about her journey. She posted videos of the girls and how everything was going in the first year of their life. I am currently watching them because any advice or suggestion is going to be helpful. I am personally struggling in general with my walk but hearing her talk about how God is in the details has been a reminder of all the times God has done the same thing in my life. I am thankful she has taken the time to share because she has been helpful for me in this seasons of life.

Reading Challenge Book 7 – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 7 of 50

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince – written by J. K. Rowling. This is technology my third time with this book and my second time with audio. I brought the set when I got a deal with Audible years ago. I am truly amazed how much of the details I have forgotten about the book. This series truly is one that you can read over and over again because there is so many details that I personally forget. The movies do not do this series justice. This is much of a review since it’s been out for 16 years. If you haven’t read the book then I wouldn’t read anymore but I assume by this point most people have read it unless you are younger and I highly doubt they are reading this blog.

I completely forgot how Ginny and Harry got together and how awkward that part of the story felt after hearing it again. The scene in the movie is different and honestly I hate how they wrote it into the movie. It felt force and odd but at least in the book it was in the moment. I guess it’s the best way for everyone to know that Harry Potter was no longer a single man. I think one of my favorite moments in the book is when Mrs. Weasley realizes that Fleur Delacour was not as bad as she thought. The fact that she was still going to marry Bill despite what happen to him shows that she isn’t the shallow person everyone assumed.

I do look forward for when our kids are old enough to read these series. I hope they appreciate it as much as we do. We are not super fans and we don’t have collector items or anything. We have friends who are big fans and we went to a wedding where the brides garter was green with the letter S for Slytherin. Our soon to be 1-year-old was sitting by the dance floor when it landed near him and he ended up with it. We put it a shadow box with pictures and the wedding invitation. It was a lot of fun but that’s really the only thing we have, that I can think of at this time. We do enjoy reading the books and I don’t mind watching the movies when I want something fun to watch.

Side note: I really need to get my reading into gear because according to the app I am 3 books behind schedule. I need to make myself finish reading the books I started but you know – life.

Reading Challenge Book 6 – Top Secret Twenty-One

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 6 of 50

Top Secret Twenty-One – written by Janet Evanovich. I took a long break from listening to an audiobook because I could easily finish this series in a few days if I let myself. It’s a fun listen and you come to enjoy the characters. If I was honest I am tired of the the two love interest. I guess on some level I feel that neither of them will really work with the way she wants to live her life, then again the one who doesn’t want to get married may be the best choice for her lifestyle. I know that if they would completely cut the ties between the other interest he would find someone else and that would be the end of that story line.

The grandmother never disappoints and I wouldn’t mind watching her on the screen in a TV show. I have noticed that the sister kind of disappeared all together but she doesn’t really add a lot to the story line so that makes sense why we haven’t heard about her in a while. I wonder if the author could do a storyline with her sisters ex-husband to kind of bring that story full circle and maybe there could be a happier ending for the sister. It’s just a random thought and I am curious to see what else she adds to storyline with the last seven books that I haven’t read. I am starting to fall behind in my reading and I really need to finish a few of my books that I am really close to being done but I am physically reading them so I have to have time to read. Don’t get me wrong I waste a lot of time so I could have them done by now.

Reading Challenge Book 5 – Girl Code

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 5 of 50

Girl Code – written by Cara Alwill Leyba. I will be honest I have never heard of Cara Alwill Leyba and the reason why I listened to this book was because I added this books a few years ago to my reading list. I think I saw it on someone GoodRead list and decided to add it to my list. If I’m completely honest I never paid attention to the additional text on the cover and didn’t realize it was about female entrepreneur until I started to listen to it. I might of known that when I added the book to my list. I wanted a new book to listen to and there are only so many books you can get on Libby that includes an audiobook. I honestly do not have a lot of things to say about the book. I did listen to the book at normal speed since it’s more of a self-help/inspiring book so I didn’t want to miss anything.

I will say as I listen to the book I had to ask myself a few hard questions that I still don’t have the answer too. I have a hard time relating to women in general. I also feel that I’m not a girly girl but I am not a tomboy either. I don’t know where I fall to be honest. I do believe women can do a lot of things and I support other women who start their own business. I have even consider it for myself but just don’t know where to start at this point. I am also very aware that I am a mom of young kids and making time to work on a business is slim due to me trying to get our life in order. There is a time and place for these things. I feel very strongly that right now my focus needs to be on my kids and I’m not saying I won’t try to do something down the road. I just know in this season it’s about my kids and getting our life in order. There are so many thing I need to do to prepare for our growing family, educating out kids, and downsizing our inventory.

I had a hard time relating to the book and need to do some self-reflection to figure out where I stand in general. I am planning on writing a post about the idea of being a woman and what does it mean. What does it look like for me and how to do I get more in touch of my feminine side. If you want a book that is inspiring and try to motivate you to take steps then you should listen to it. It’s is inspiring to hear other woman stories but there so much more to everyone stories then what is covered in this book. I got the feeling that the author doesn’t have any kids so they are able to focus solely on their career. As a mom of six YOUNG kids I am not in a place where I can sacrifice time and money to chase 100% after any career goals. Then again it would help if I had any in general. That’s another post for the future – anyway this was book number 5 for my reading challenge. I still am working on a few other books but haven’t really pushed myself lately.

Reading Challenge Book 4 – Takedown Twenty

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 4 of 50

Takedown Twenty – written by Janet Evanovich – This was the first book I listened to and after listening to first nineteen I can see why I wasn’t really a fan at first. You may be able to pick up and read any book in the series but you missed a lot if you do not know the characters before hand. When Stephanie interacts with Grandma Bella and you have no history it makes no sense why she does what she does. In my post about book 3 I talk about how when a series is around long enough the writer has some creative liberty and this is truly the case. The whole giraffe thing isn’t as weird to the reader if you have been along for the ride because you know random stuff like this happens. I remember listening to this book the first time and I had to go back and re-listen to a few things because I was so thrown off by the giraffe that I honestly wonder what I was reading. I did forget a lot of stuff about this book so I’m glad I re-listen to it.

I don’t know if everyone does this but when I’m reading a fiction book I try to find someone I can relate to in the story. I think on some level I never really understood the fascination with the Jersey lifestyle. Then again the only example I had was clips of Jersey shore and scenes in random shows portraying people from Jersey. I have friends from Jersey and they are nothing like what you see on TV. Then here is this book based off a girl who lives in Jersey and from time to time has the personality of what I have seen on TV. Now the funny thing to me is Stephanie is half Italian and half Hungarian. I am primarily Italian and Hungarian but I don’t know much about either of them for me to feel relatable – then again my dad’s side is Italian and I do remember the meals, especially around the holidays. Lasagna is what we have for our Christmas dinner – I missed the big Italian dinner on Christmas. I think what I really missed is not having to worry about cooking anything. I won’t lie my MIL makes lasagna for our Christmas dinner but I realized this past year that she uses cottage cheese for her filling and I’m not a fan of cottage cheese. I always thought something was off (for me) but never took the time to figure it out.

I only have 8 more books left in the series and as I sit here typing, I haven’t started book 21. I am slowing working on the other books. I have been listening to Podcast so there are days I don’t listen to books and physically reading is a slow process with four little kids. I did managed to take a paperback to my last doctors appointment.

How do you like to read?
Do you think audiobooks should count?
What series do you wish would have continued?
Which series have you started but decided to not finish?

When my husband gets into a book – especially a series he won’t stop until he finish it. I remember when he decided to read Hunger Games. This was toward the beginning of our marriage and no kids (except the cats) and he finished all three books on a weekend. I remember he didn’t do anything else the whole time. I shamelessly read the Twilight series and I know that she finally put out the book written in Edward perspective but I have no real desire to read it. I was bummed when I learned it was suppose to come out sooner but it was leaked so she decided not to write it. I read this series in the first year of our marriage which will be 14 years this year.

Reading Challenge Book 3 – Notorious Nineteen

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 3 of 50

Notorious Nineteen written by Janet Evanovich – The longer you read the series you know that there are a few things that always happens – no one should give Stephanie a car, fat is the worse thing you can saw to Lula, viewing are always interesting when grandma is around, the EYE is a thing or maybe it’s not, and ironing is never a good sign. I love when a series has been around long enough and this applies to TV shows; the writers can start to have some fun with the writing. Now there are times shows take it too far but if a show is not trying to make it just like real life. The audience can come to appreciate them taking some liberties. I personally don’t know much about Tiki’s but the one in this story is pretty entertaining but it only works because you have gotten used to weird behaviors throughout the series. Things always just happens to Stephanie and she is just taking one day at a time.

There are times I get bored with the love interest in this series but I read the author said she doesn’t want to tie Stephanie down. I get that but there is only so much you can do. I don’t think I can say I’m for either love interest – one makes more sense then the other just because of her life choices. I do appreciate that the author shows Stephanie is very vulnerable states because she may be a bounty hunter; she is face with some pretty crappy situations and only a sane person can handle so much. I forget which book I was on when it finally hit me that I have been expose to these characters before I listened to book 20. Evanovich first book was turned into a movie and I watched it randomly. I forget what triggered that memory and once I realized that I went back and re-watched it. The book was a lot more graphic than the movie and I was actually a little concern about some of the things that happen in the first few books. I wasn’t sure if I would want to continue, but I have learned you shouldn’t judge a book/show by the first episode/book.

I have said this already but this is a fun listen/read. I wouldn’t mind seeing this series as a TV Show and I read some articles back in 2019 that they were making a deal. Then 2020 happened and I haven’t found any new information.

What series do you enjoy reading?
How did you come across the Stephanie Plum series?
Have you heard about a TV Show deal?
What books are on your list for 2022?

Reading Challenge Book 2 – Explosive Eighteen

2022 GoodRead Challenge – Book 2 of 50

Explosive Eighteen written by Janet Evanovich – this book is number 18 in the Stephanie Plum Series. As I write this I believe there are 28 books written in this series and I am not sure when the author plans to stop writing for this series. The latest book was released in Nov. 2021. Ms. Evanovich also has four books that are considered novella’s that are sandwich in-between a few books. You can get away without reading these books and not really miss a lot of information but I managed to read them in the order she has them on her website.

I am going to be honest the only reason why I have heard of this series was due to a random challenge I gave myself back in 2020. I had to read a book with the number 20 in the title. I had every intention to read another book but never got around to it. I went on Libby and searched the word twenty. I found the twentieth book in the series and I decided to listen to it so I could finish the challenge. I was not a fan at first – I believe the author does a good job of writing the books in a way that you could randomly read one. The thing is I wasn’t really a fan of the characters and I was really confused by some of the random things that happened. I plan on re-listening to the book so I’ll share more in that post.

Clearly how I felt has changed since I am now on book eighteen and plan to continue the series until she is done writing them. I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone who isn’t comfortable with reading books about sexual encounters and language. They are PG-13 but I know this could make certain people uncomfortable. I have found the more you read the easier it is to enjoy the characters and continue on to the next books. My favorite character is Stephanie’s grandmother – she is pretty entertaining. She is a minor character but she is always in the story in some way.

I won’t give anything away from the stories but you can learn this general information on GoodRead – the book starts off with a little mystery of what happen in Hawaii. I will say because I have gotten used to the author and have been following these characters I hit it on the head of what happen before it was revealed in the story. When my husband and I start to watch a show I often spent a lot of time trying to figure out the writers style and how they will handle certain stories lines. I realized after watching a handful of shows over and over again that I often can tell when a show changes writers. Usually I am not a fan of the change and often the show is “ruined” in some way. There are certain shows that I have stopped watching after a certain season and then I later find out that was when they had a writer change.

I may try another series that Ms. Evanovich as written at some point but I’m going to stick with this one until I’m done. I have a lot of other books I am currently reading. This series is a fun listen and I can usually finish a book in a few hours but I usually try to limit my listening until I am in the car. This keeps me from blowing through in no time.

Have you read this series?
What was your first thoughts?
What other series would you recommend?

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