Posted in Reading Goals

End of year wrap up!

I decided to do an end of the year wrap up. I wanted to share how many books I was able to read this year, plus, I wanted to compare that against what I read last year and the year before. In 2018 I read 22 books, in 2019 I read 28 books and in 2020 I read 40 books (you can view the lists at the end of this article). I have been able to increase how many books I’ve read but I don’t know if I’ll be able to beat that in 2021. I can sure give that a try though…..we’ll just have to wait and see.

2020 List:

  • The Haunted by Bentley Little (paperback)
  • The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht (hardcover)
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (paperback)
  • More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz (paperback)
  • Scary Stories 3: More Tales to Chill Your Bones by Alvin Schwartz (paperback)
  • The Haunted by Danielle Vega (hardcover)
  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders (paperback)
  • Off to War by Wayne Hancock (paperback)
  • If You Go To The Woods by Seth C. Adams (paperback)
  • Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (paperback)
  • The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski (paperback)
  • Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (paperback)
  • Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice (hardcover)
  • Creep by Eireann Corrigan (hardcover)
  • The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop (e-book)
  • The Battle for the Castle by Elizabeth Winthrop (e-book)
  • A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay (paperback)
  • The Mile End Murder by Sinclair McKay (hardcover)
  • Remember Me by Chelsea Bobulski (hardcover)
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena (hardcover)
  • The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy (hardcover)
  • The Saturday Night Ghost Club by Craig Davidson (paperback)
  • The Dead Girls of Hysteria Hall by Katie Alender (paperback)
  • Crave by Tracy Wolff (hardcover)
  • The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright (e-book)
  • The Third Twin by C. J. Omololu (paperback)
  • The Haunting of Gillespie House by Darcy Coates (e-book)
  • Campfire by Shawn Sarles (hardcover)
  • Lucy Crisp and the Vanishing House by Janet Hill (hardcover)
  • Class: The Stone House by A. K. Benedict (hardcover)
  • The Complete Horowitz Horror by Anthony Horowitz (paperback)
  • The Escape Room by Maren Stoffels (paperback)
  • One by One by Ruth Ware (e-book)
  • Dead Lake by Darcy Coates (paperback)
  • The Ghost of Old Coal House by Amy Cross (e-book)
  • Misery by Stephen King (paperback)
  • The Orion Project by Curt Caufield (paperback)
  • Crush by Tracy Wolff (hardcover)
  • The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel (paperback)
  • The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon (paperback)

2019 List:

  • And The Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich (paperback)
  • Poison by Sarah Pinborough (paperback)
  • The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox (hardcover)
  • A Haunting by L. I. Albemont (e-book)
  • The Stranger Game by Cylin Busby (paperback)
  • Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie (paperback)
  • The Night Sister by Jennifer McMahon (hardcover)
  • The Hotel for the Lost by Suzanne Young (paperback)
  • The Shape of Water by Guillermo Del Toro & Daniel Kraus (hardcover)
  • The Chalk Man by C. J. Tudor (paperback)
  • Fort Whiskey by David Banks (paperback)
  • Ghostlight by Sonia Gensler (hardcover)
  • Watching You by Lisa Jewell (hardcover)
  • Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (paperback)
  • The Bone Keeper by Luca Veste (paperback)
  • The Truth Lies Here by Lindsey Klingele (hardcover)
  • Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (paperback)
  • The Mansion by Ezekiel Boone (hardcover)
  • Ten by Gretchen McNeil (paperback)
  • Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (hardcover)
  • What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (hardcover)
  • Tomb of Ancients by Madeleine Roux (hardcover)
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman (paperback) (S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure)
  • Pet Sematary by Stephen King (e-book)
  • Ghost Story by Peter Straub (paperback)
  • The Invited by Jennifer McMahon (hardcover)
  • Blood of Wonderland by Colleen Oakes (papterback)
  • Enter the Dark House by Laurie Faria Stolarz (paperback)

2018 List:

  • Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (paperback)
  • The Cellar by Natasha Preston (paperback)
  • And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (paperback)
  • The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton (e-book)
  • You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston (paperback)
  • The Mystery of Drear House by Virginia Hamilton (e-book)
  • Hell House by Richard Matheson (e-book)
  • Murder has a Motive by Francis Duncan (e-book)
  • The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum (paperback)
  • The House with the Clock in Its Walls by John Bellairs (e-book)
  • Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (paperback)
  • The House Next Door by Darcy Coates (e-book)
  • The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich (paperback)
  • An Unwanted Guest by Shari Lapena (hardcover)
  • The Women In The Walls by Amy Lukavics (hardcover)
  • Court of Shadows by Madeliene Roux (hardcover)
  • The Haunting of Ashburn House by Darcy Coates (e-book)
  • We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson (paperback)
  • Ten Dead Comedians by Fred Van Lente (paperback)
  • The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn (hardcover)
  • The Apartment by S. L. Grey (paperback)
  • Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan (e-book)
Posted in Literature

Latest Amazon purchase!

My hubby gave me an Amazon gift card over the weekend (because my hubby doesn’t spoil me at all). I should have plenty of e-books by now. I may have to start reading on my Kindle more often now because I’m really starting to rack up the e-books. Anyway, I’ve updated my list of e-books to include the new ones in this article.

Terrifying Tales to Tell at Night by Randy Broecker
Ten Chimes to Midnight by Amy Cross
Strange Sanctuary by Blake Croft & Ashley Raven
Voices in the Night by Blake Croft & Ashley Raven
Secrets in the Dark by Blake Croft & Ashley Raven
Legend and Lore by Blake Croft & Ashley Raven
A Call from the Beyond by Blake Croft & Ashley Raven
Ashes to Ashes by Blake Croft & Ashley Raven
The Haunting by Raymond M. Hall
The Haunting of Winslow Manor by Ambrose Isben
Rookwood Asylum by David Longhorn
Palmer Entity by David Longhorn
Dark Deity by David Longhorn
A Christmas Haunting by Clark Mansion
One by One by Freida McFadden
Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Posted in Fun

Merry Christmas!

First of all, I want to wish everyone out there a Merry Christmas. I hope you are enjoying your holiday as best you can during this pandemic. So, what did you get for Christmas this year? Did you go out and buy it yourself? Did someone else buy it for you?

I’ve gotten “A Tale of Witchcraft” by Chris Colfer (signed by the author), an autographed photograph of the Weasley twins, the latest version of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that is designed and illustrated by MinaLima, a Wrebbit 3D puzzle of the Ford Anglia from the Harry Potter world, a Harry Potter ornament that lights up, a little Christmas tree that has some ornaments from the different houses hanging on it, and some Christmas candy stuffed in my stocking. My hubby spoiled me this year (like he does every year).

Posted in Answer a question

Difficult year?

2020 has been a difficult year, to say the least, due to Covid-19. Can you share with us some literature that helped you get through the year? I’ve listed a few of my own below…

The Crave series by Tracy Wolff = Crave and then Crush came out this year. They’re both pretty good sized novels also so that helped eat up some spare time. We still have 2 more books to finish out this series, which I am looking forward to. If you like larger size books and you are interested in romance, this might be something you can get into.

Lucy Crisp & the Vanishing House by Janet Hill or Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin = Either one of these books might be something that you can read to your kids or read with your kids (depends on their age and reading level). Even if you don’t have kids, these books are still a fun read.

The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright = I read the e-book version of this on my Kindle and I loved it. This book has a little bit of horror, a little bit thriller/suspense, a little bit heartache and romance. It basically has a little bit of everything in it.

Posted in Literature, thriller/suspense

“The Winter People” by Jennifer McMahon

So, I finished reading this over the course of the weekend and decided to share. I’ve read some other stuff by this author and that was what made me give this one a try. The book kept going at a pretty good pace throughout, I didn’t get bored or bogged down at any point during this book. In the book, it does switch back and forth between 1908 and present day so you have two different timelines going in this book but I didn’t find the book hard to follow though. The ending was a real surprise as I neared the end of the book and very shocking. It’s not who you think it is but you’ll have to read it for yourself ’cause I don’t want to spoil it for someone else.

Synopsis: West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea’s diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother’s bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

Posted in Answer a question

Last recommended….

What was the last book you recommended to a friend? Why did you recommend that specific book (or series)?

The last time I recommended a book to someone, I believe the book I recommended was “The Book of Lost Things” by John Connolly. I know the lady I recommended it to checked it out from her local library (she showed it as something she was reading on her blog). I don’t think I’ve had a chance to ask her how she enjoyed it or what she thought of it.

There aren’t many people that I get to talk to about reading. Usually I just get to talk to the people that work at the local book store and that’s pretty much it (besides what I post here on my blog). I haven’t been to my local library lately so I haven’t been able to connect to anyone there. I know, I know….I probably should use my local library more. I”m sure there’s a lot I’m missing, like getting to meet some like minded individuals.

Posted in Fun

11 Reasons Literature is Sweeter Than Christmas Morning

We all have fond memories of waking up on Christmas morning and finding our Christmas presents under the tree. Here are 11 reasons why literature can be better than Christmas morning….

Surprise: You get a surprise when you reach the ending every time you open up a new book. Much like the surprise you experience when you see the present under the tree on Christmas morning except you can enjoy this any time of the year.

Fall in love: You’ll fall in love with a new character when you open up a new book. There are some really well written characters out there…like Professor Snape from the wizarding world of Harry Potter for example.

World: You’ll want to live in that world that author has created. There is a part of me that wish Hogwarts or Narnia are real so that I could visit them.

Stress reducer: Reading a good book can help lower your stress level. You can mentally be transported to other places and help forget the stress from the day at school or work. That’s one of the main reasons why I read…to help relax after a long, hard day.

Free: It’s free to visit your local library and check out your favorite books. So you’ll have a free source of entertainment. Even if you can’t visit your local library, there are some libraries that have the option that you can borrow their books virtually on your e-reader/tablet.

Endless Entertainment: There are so many books out there that you can read that you’ll never run of of stuff to read. New books are coming out all the time whenever an author writes something else.

Movies/TV: Books have produced some pretty cool movies or tv shows, which can add even more to your entertainment level. It might be a little more costly unless someone you know already has it on dvd or you can find the dvd for cheap on clearance (or you know someone willing to buy it for you for Christmas or for your birthday).

Discussion: Literature can give you a way to open up a conversation with other people around you that may not have presented itself previously. Whether someone is wearing a cool t-shirt or their in the process of reading a book.

Vocabulary: I feel like reading can sometimes increase your vocabulary. If you’re an avid reader, you’re probably introduced to new words on a regular basis.

Quiet: Reading is a quiet activity that won’t disturb your neighbor. How many people do you know of that have complained about your book being too loud? Even if you stay up late to read, it’s better than hearing your neighbor drive up at 2 am with their stereo rattling the windows.

Portable: Reading is something that is also portable. Because of this, you can keep yourself entertained while you are riding the bus or the train to and from work/school, especially if you don’t have someone to talk to during your commute.

Posted in children's, Literature, mystery

“The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane” by Julia Nobel

I finished reading this book yesterday and just wanted to share. This was a fun read and I was able to read it pretty quickly. If you enjoy stories with boarding schools, secret societies, cryptic letters, secret relics and awesome friends, then you’d probably enjoy this story. This would be a good book to read with your kids if they like mystery. Emmy, Jack and Lola remind me of the trio from the Harry Potter series, especially the first year or two they were in Hogwarts.

Synopsis: With a dad who disappeared years ago and a mother who’s a bit too busy to parent, Emmy is shipped off to Wellsworth, a prestigious boarding school in England, where she’s sure she won’t fit in.

But then she finds a box of mysterious medallions in the attic of her home with a note reading: These belonged to your father.

When she arrives at school, she finds the strange symbols from the medallions etched into walls and books, which leads Emmy and her new friends, Jack and Lola, to Wellsworth’s secret society: The Order of Black Hollow Lane.

Emmy can’t help but think that the society had something to do with her dad’s disappearance, and that there may be more than just dark secrets in the halls of Wellsworth…

Posted in Literature

“Crush” by Tracy Wolff

{Note: Spoilers ahead if you’ve not read this book yet!}

I’ve finished reading this and let me tell you….there is so much going on in this book. There are many twists and turns that just have my mind reeling. First of all, I couldn’t believe that Grace has two mates. I wonder how they’re going to deal with that in the future books (next one comes out in March of 2021). I think I saw this one coming because the author hints at it throughout the whole book. First, you see Grace and Hudson grow closer and closer together despite the fact of what Grace knows about Hudson from the first book. Second, Flint mentions in a conversation with Grace about half way through the book that someone can have more than one mate. There’s so much going on there between Grace and Jaxon and Hudson…..but not surprising. It’s a love triangle that Grace will have to work her way through in future books. I will have to continue reading to find out, I guess.

Synopsis: Everything feels off—especially me. I’ve returned to Katmere Academy, but I’m haunted by fragments of days I have no recollection of living and struggling to understand who, or what, I really am.

Just when I start to feel safe again, Hudson is back with a vengeance. He insists there are secrets I don’t know about, threatening to drive a wedge between Jaxon and me forever. But far worse enemies are at our doorstep.

The Circle is caught in a power play and the Vampire Court is trying to drag me out of my world and into theirs. The only thing Hudson and Jaxon agree on is that leaving Katmere would mean my certain death.

And not only am I fighting for my life, but now everyone else’s is at stake—unless we can defeat an unspeakable evil. All I know is that saving the people I love is going to require sacrifice.

Maybe more than I’m able to give.

Posted in Fun

Wizard of Oz from Madame Alexander

I had some dolls given to me. They originally belonged to a great aunt who passed it on to my grandmother (her sister) and it’s now been passed down to me. They are the Wizard of Oz dolls from the Madame Alexander collection and they were made exclusively to go in a McDonald’s Happy Meal. I have the entire set (listed below). I haven’t thought about what I want to do with them but I do plan on keeping them.

The set includes….
Dorothy
Glinda the Good Witch
Winged Monkey
Cowardly Lion
Wicked Witch of the West
Winkie Guard
Tin Man
Scarecrow
Flower Munchkin
Lullaby Munchkin
Lollipop Munchkin
The Wizard of Oz