My Little Pocketbooks: 2014   

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Review: Esperanza Rising

 
 Esperanza Rising
Author: Pam Muñoz Ryan 
Genre: Children's Book
Age Range: 8 and up
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: May 1, 2002
Audiobook:  4 hours and 35 minutes
Narrator: Trini Alvarado
Source: Free from E-Library
http://amzn.to/1xACOc0

Quicky Review #26: The Snow Queen

Welcome back to another Quicky Review everyone.
A lot of the time I like to read short stories, prequels and free audiobooks that are short and sweet.  But why do a full review on a book that is say...80 pages long.  So I do Quicky Reviews for the shorties and children books as well.  Basically, the short stories get short reviews.
Here is just a few sentences on one children's audiobook from this month.
There are other Quicky Reviews for you to check out too and don't worry there will be more to come. I like short stories because most of them are FREE and I can get in and out of one in no time.
Previous Quicky Review
Quicky Review #23: Girl with Glasses and I Love You Too

Review: Unholy Night

 
Unholy Nights
Author: Seth Grahame-Smith
Genre: Biblical Fiction
Publisher:  Hachette Audio
Release Date: April 10, 2012
Audiobook: 9 hours and 50 minutes
Narrator: Peter Berkrot
Source: Free from e-Library
http://amzn.to/1BgGSyN

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Review: My Man Pendleton

 
My Man Pendleton
Author: Elizabeth Bevarly
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date:  June 30, 2011
Ebook: 388 pages
Source: Free from iBooks
http://amzn.to/1xaXFUh

Quick Fix Reading Challegne: Wrap Up

xjessiexbellex.blogspot.com/2013/12/2014-quick-fix-challenge.html
Purpose: This is a challenge about reading books with less than 300 pages.
Level:  Paperclips (15 books)
This was another easy challenge because I like reading books with about 250 pages in them.  So most of the first 15 book I read went to this challenge
Here are the numbers

Favorite Book

Number of books by Women: 12 
Number of books part of a series: 7
Number of New to Me Authors: 23

Number of Audiobooks:  18 (denoted by an *)
Number of Children Books: 3
Total Books Read: 22

Bloggish Goals for 2015

Yes it is that time to start the goal setting and forecasting for the new year.  For 2014 I had some high hopes for my blog.  I thought at the end of 2013 I would have a lot more bloggish things accomplished.  Take a minute to check out my 2013 resolutions and goals for 2014.  And don't laugh to loud.

Book Blogging Goals 

These are specific and often number-based goals that relate to your blog. They are milestones you want to hit or specific things you want to achieve. 

1.  Giveaway 50 books
I think I have hit this goal but I didn't keep count to know for sure.
2.  Post at least 350 blog post
Missed that one by 20 or more
3.  Complete all my reading challenges
I have two that are not going to happen at all.  DANG!  Alphabet Soup Reading Challenge.  DANG! and the TBR Pile Reading Challenge
4.  Knock off at least 12 books from my TBR pile that are here in the house.
NO comment!
5.  Buy only 12 books (Book Club Book of the Month books)
SCORE!!!  I did that one by accident. 

2015 Reading Challenges

It's that time again everyone.  Time to pick your challenge.  Your reading challenges that is.
This year I think I took on way to many and I didn't knock them all out like I wanted.  Out of the 13 reading challenges I signed up for I completed only 11 of them.  So this year, I am only going to sign up for half of that because 13 is a bit over the top for me.  And let me tell you it was soo hard just settling for these and not signing up for 13 new ones. So here they are.  My Reading Challenges for 2015.  

~New to Me Reading Challenge~

New to You Reading Challenge
New To You Reading Challenge
Host: Herding Cats and Burning Soup
Purpose:  Read anything new to you.  New Genre, new author, anything new to you
Level 2: 12 "new to you"s


What's in A Name? 2015
Purpose: During this time you choose a book to read from each of the selected categories 
Level:  Challenge accepted! 

2015 Audiobook Challenge
Purpose: To listen to more audiobooks in 2015 than I did in 2014
Level: Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30 

 Mocha Girls Read Reading Challenge
Purpose: Complete one book to make "Mocha Girls 15"
Level: Wrap Speed: Completing levels 1 and 2, AND reading all 2015 Books of the Month (a whooping 24 books) 

Monday, December 29, 2014

New Author Reading Challenge: Wrap Up

http://www.literaryescapism.com/new-author-challenge/new-author-challenge-2014
Level: 15 New to me Authors
I had no idea how easy this reading challenge would be.  Apparently I read new to me authors all the time.  Go figure!  

Favorite Book

Total Number of Books: 29
Number of books by Women: 21
Number of Audiobooks: 18
Number of YA Books: 5
Number of Non Fiction Books: 3
Oldest Publication Date: 1922 (Siddhartha)

Banned Book Challenge 2014: Wrap Up



photo credit: Old Books by Petr Kratochvil  
Hosted by Buckling Bookshelves
Level: Making Waves: 1-2 Challenged Books
I had no plans on reading more than two books for this challenge but when I looked over the Banned Book List I found there were a few more books on the list that I was reading.  So I ended up doubling my goal of two books.  Yep!  I read 4 Banned Books this year.  Here are my Banned Book Reading Challenge stats...

Review: If You Were Here

 
If You Were Here
Author: Alafair Burke
Genre: Suspense
Publisher:  Harper
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Hardcover: 384 pages
Source: Free from Publisher at BEA13
http://amzn.to/1wv8StO

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Complete Diversity 2014 Linky List

Here are the links from the 2014 Diversity on the Shelf Reading Challenge.  
Check out the reviews and the bloggers who joined.  They all did an outstanding job.
Links and Resources

Sunday Delight: Bye Bye 2014

Happy Last Sunday of 2014 Everyone!
Can you believe it is over?  2014 is a wrap!  Now I have to train myself to write 2015 on everything now.  I know I can't be the only one who doesn't get it down until March.  Up until then everything will have 2014 crossed out and 2015 written next to it.
Christmas was great!  This was the Christmas of first.  Justin (my newest cousin) had his first family Christmas.  Our family made memorial ornaments and it was the first Christmas with all the family members there.  (Past and Present)  
It was a wonderful Christmas!  Here are a few pictures.
 Then there was

Diversity on the Shelf 2014: Wrap Up

http://littlepocketbooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/diversity-on-shelf-2014.html
 Host:  My Little Pocketbooks (me)
Level:  4th Shelf (19 - 24 books)
Completed 20 books and reviews.  
(1 more book to review soon.) 
I was so scared I was not going to complete the reading challenge I was hosting.  Boy that would have been sad.  My first year hosting and not complete the challenge.  That would not be a good look at all. 
But...I DID IT!  I read more than the 19 books I thought I would red this year.  
Here are the stats from the Diversity on the Shelf 2014 reading challenge.  
Next year I will be hosting this challenge again and I will try and do 24 books.  Fingers crossed!  :)

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review: The Christmas Chronicles - The Legend of Santa Claus

 
The Christmas Chronicles - The Legend of Santa Claus
Author: Tim Slover
Genre: Holiday Fiction
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Release Date: November 2, 2010
Audiobook: 3 hours and 48 minutes
Narrator: William Dufris
Source: I won it from a book blogger years ago.
http://amzn.to/1zO1wHL

Review: Immortality

 
Immortality Book 1
Author: Kevin Bohacz
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher:  Audible Studios
Release Date:  October 28, 2014
Audiobook: 26 hours and 33 minutes
Narrator: Kevin T. Collins
Source: Free from Audible Studios in exchange for an honest review
http://amzn.to/1wBcRKu

Updated Incomplete Series List

Over a year ago, I sat down an compiled a list of book series I started and never finished.  This was the first time I really put a ton of thought into it and was shocked to realize there were about 16 incomplete series handing over my head.  (Here is the original post)
Since then I made a big effort to get a few series off the list by doing the Spring Sequel Reading Challenge hosted by Words in a Teacup.  This was a big relief because 7 whole series were completed and the list began to become manageable and not so overwhelming.  
With that in mind I thought I should update the list and take off the series I no longer wanted to finish because the first book was not my cup of tea.  So here is the new and improved list.  I thought it would be shorter.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Book Blogger Hop: Location Location Location

Happy Last Friday of 2014 Everyone!
OMG!  2015 is coming up quick and fast.  I feel like I have not completed my 2014 to do list yet.  Oh man!  I need to just start a new one for 2015!
What is Book Blogger Hop all about?
Each week the host at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted writer will prompt a new topic submit by a blogger and everyone can join in with their answers. You should join us! It's quite fun!  No really it is!

This Weeks Topic/Question

December 26th - January 1st: Do you have a book with a location that you just HAD to visit after reading the book? (submitted by Elizabeth)

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Let's Talk: Spreadsheets

This year was the first time ever, in my whole life that I made a spreadsheet for my reading and reviewing.  I use spreadsheets at work and I have to say that life is so much easier with them.  Once you set the formulas and the cells are in working order you can just punch in one number and the math, graphs and other items will update themselves.  
I think it was last year that I read a blog post from a fellow book blogger talking about her spreadsheet.  Naturally, I thought that was a bit over the top OCD.  I really did!  I could not understand why it was so important to have a full-on spreadsheet for books.  Just read and review!  Done!  It wasn't rocket science.  Then one day (November 4, 2014 at 8:56 AM), I was overwhelmed with the number of books I was reading for so many challenges and how many I had to review.  I had everything on paper in a notebook but it was not helping me get my thoughts straight.  So I did it!  I started a spreadsheet.  And I am sooo happy I did it.
I started putting down the books I was reading, going to read and all the reading challenges I signed up for.  Just having those down helped ease my mind.  
With the end of the year fast approaching I realized my reading is centered around my spreadsheet because I have reading challenges to finish.  Without my spreadsheet I would be fumbling around in the dark trying to get my last books in.  I still am but not as bad as I might be without it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Books for Kwanzaa 2014

The day after Christmas Day is also the first day of Kwanzaa.
Kwanzaa starts on December 26th and ends on January 1st.

What is Kwanzaa all about?
As an African American and Pan-African holiday celebrated by millions throughout the world African community, Kwanzaa brings a cultural message which speaks to the best of what it means to be African and human in the fullest sense. Given the profound significance Kwanzaa has for African Americans and indeed, the world African community, it is imperative that an authoritative source and site be made available to give an accurate and expansive account of its origins, concepts, values, symbols and practice.
Moreover, given the continued rapid growth of Kwanzaa and the parallel expanded discussion of it and related issues, an authoritative source which aids in both framing and informing the discussion is likewise of the greatest importance. Therefore, the central interest of this website is to provide information which reveals and reaffirms the integrity, beauty and expansive meaning of the holiday and thus aids in our approaching it with the depth of thought, dignity, and sense of specialness it deserves.
The holiday, then will of necessity, be engaged as an ancient and living cultural tradition which reflects the best of African thought and practice in its reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person in community and culture, the well-being of family and community, the integrity of the environment and our kinship with it, and the rich resource and meaning of a people's culture. It is within this understanding, then, that the Organization Us, the founding organization of Kwanzaa and the authoritative keeper of the tradition, has established and maintains this website
-From Kwanzaa website

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quicky Review #25: Lost and Found in Cedar Cove and I'm Dreaming of an Undead Christmas

Welcome back to another Quicky Review everyone.
A lot of the time I like to read short stories, prequels and free audiobooks that are short and sweet.  But why do a full review on a book that is say...80 pages long.  So I do Quicky Reviews for the shorties and children books as well.  Basically, the short stories get short reviews.
Here are just a few sentences on one children's book and one short audiobook.
There are other Quicky Reviews for you to check out too and don't worry there will be more to come. I like short stories because most of them are FREE and I can get in and out of one in no time.
Previous Quicky Review
Quicky Review #22: The Initiate, The Son and The Traitor
Quicky Review #23: Girl with Glasses and I Love You Too
Quicky Review #24: Philolzophy and Batman: The Court of Owls

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Sunday Delight: After the Holidays

Happy Sunday Everyone!
I have shopped for gifts and I have wrapped gifts.  And can you believe I am only thinking about all the things I am going to do once the holidays are over.  I am so NOT ready for Christmas and New Years.  I wanted to be so much further ahead on my blog and on just basic stuff (house cleaning).  I just think my brain just wants to jump ahead and get on to the next thing.  
After the holidays, I usually make my person New Years resolutions and do a mini spring cleaning just so I have everything clean and clear for the new year.  
Am I the only one who has after holiday plans?  What do you do for after the holidays?
Oh! Wait let's talk bookish for a minute.

Here and Now

Time: 3:30 pm
Drinking: Green Tea with Lemon and Honey
Eating: Just had Christmas lunch/dinner at church
 Listening To: Nothing
Watching: Nothing

What I Am Listening To...

http://amzn.to/13dai5j

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Review: A Christmas Prayer


A Christmas Prayer
Author: Kimberla Lawson Roby
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Audiobook: 4 hours and 2 minutes
Narrator: Maria Howell
Source: Purchased from Audible.com
http://amzn.to/1wNCcm6

Midwinter's Eve Giveaway Hop

http://www.bookhounds.net/2014/11/midwinters-eve-giveaway-hop-sign-ups-now-open.html

Midwinter’s Eve Giveaway Hop
Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & Bookhounds
December 21st to 31st

I know some of you are in the thick of snow and really cold weather right now.  So a good book to curl up with might help a bit.  This giveaway hop will be an easy one.  

Prize

 Up to $10.00
That's right you can pick a prize from The Book Depository and as long as it equals $10.00 with tax then it's yours.  All you have to do is enter the rafflecopter below.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Blogger Hop: Review them All

Happy Friday Everyone!
And welcome to another Book Blogger Hop.
What is Book Blogger Hop all about?
Each week the host at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted writer will prompt a new topic submit by a blogger and everyone can join in with their answers. You should join us! It's quite fun!  No really it is!

This Weeks Topic/Question

December 19th - 25th: Do you write a review for every book you read or only review copies from publishers? (submitted by Samantha)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

5 Winter Must Haves

This month three bloggers are hosting a month long linky meme thing to promote your favorite things.  And guess what?  There is a giveaway too!  I love events with giveaways.
Here is the official blurb.
All December-long, Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge will be sharing our fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from throughout the year AND we want YOU to join us! The schedule of topics is posted below – in some cases, we’ll be joining with other bloggers events – and other times, one of us will be hosting a link-up. Plus, there will be 3 GIVEAWAY WINNERS for a book of your choice from Book Depository. Every time you post on one of the topics below, and join the Linky on one of our 3 blogs – you’ll be entered to WIN!  

  5 Must Haves for Winter Survival 

My 2014 DNF List

Every year I try my best to completely read every book I start before the end of the year.  This is only a habit I started when I started book blogging 3 years ago.  I have no idea where it came from but it's just one of the many rules I stick with to make blogging "fun".
I know there are a big group of book bloggers that have a 50 page-ish rule out there.  You know the rule.  If you get to page 50 and you don't like it then you just put it down and never pick it up again.  Sometimes you might get the urge to post the book info and file it under the DNF tag but I am a bit...different and my DNF list is too.

What do I call a DID NOT FINISH book?
If at the end of the year I have not finished a book because of the following reasons it becomes a DNF
1.  I put it down and forgot about it because I started something else.
2.  I lost interest in the subject.  This happens with Non-Fiction mostly.
3.  I ran out of time.  I was reading it and the year ended before the book.
4. I got to the halfway point and thought to myself "Why am I doing this to myself?  Just let it go!!"

I like to hold out hope there will be something good about a book past page 50.  Page 50 is still the intro and set up to me so I need more before I can put it down.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Golden 2015 Pocketbooks

Can you believe the year is almost over?  
2015 is only weeks away!  Weeks not months!
It's time to make those New Years Eve Party plans and figure out what the heck to wear.  My honey and I are going out to celebrate our first New Years together and I am going to treat myself to a new (yes another) purse.  I love purses what can I say.
This year no matter what I am going to wear (it will be comfy) I will have a gold clutch in my hand.  I love clutches because they are small and are perfect for everything and everywhere.  But I don't own a gold one at all.  I think 2015 will be my year of adding a touch of gold to my outfits.  There is something just chic and stylist when you see a women in jeans and a  t-shirt rocking a metallic purse.  So 2015 it will be me.  
Here are four cute ones I ran across I think are perfect for New Years and all my jeans after.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Top 10 Mind Blowing Books

This month three bloggers are hosting a month long linky meme thing to promote your favorite things.  And guess what?  There is a giveaway too!  I love events with giveaways.
Here is the official blurb.
All December-long, Girlxoxo, Traveling with T and Estella’s Revenge will be sharing our fave bookish (and sometimes not-so-bookish) experiences from throughout the year AND we want YOU to join us! The schedule of topics is posted below – in some cases, we’ll be joining with other bloggers events – and other times, one of us will be hosting a link-up. Plus, there will be 3 GIVEAWAY WINNERS for a book of your choice from Book Depository. Every time you post on one of the topics below, and join the Linky on one of our 3 blogs – you’ll be entered to WIN!   

Top 10 Books That Blew My Mind in 2014 

Monday, December 15, 2014

Review: Her Dark Curiosity

 
Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: YA
Publisher: Harper Audio
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Series: Madman's Daughter (Book 2)
Audiobook: 12 hrs and 52 mins 
Narrator: Lucy Rayner
Source: Free from e-Library
http://amzn.to/1HSSX27

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Sunday Delight: Christmas Next Week?

Happy Sunday Everyone!
OH MY GOODNESS 
Christmas is next week!!

OH No!  
I'm not ready! 
Why?!  Why so soon?  When did this happen?
Yes!  I am having a small freak out.  It just seems like I just finished dealing with Thanksgiving and now I have a week to get myself ready.
*deep breathing*
 Let's focus on something in the here and now first.  I am happy to say... I have maintained my 20+ scheduled post from The Blog Ahead Challenge for a whole week now.  Whoot!  Whoot!  Yeah!  Now if I can do it for the next two months then there will be a real reason to celebrate.  Can you just image?  Always having 20 post scheduled and ready to go.  That is like a month off for you and not the blog.  WOOOWWW!!  *sigh*
Ok!  Now onto the bookish stuff.