Thursday, November 26, 2015

I Have Lived a Thousand Years: Growing Up in the Holocaust

I have lived a thousand years growing up in the holocaust: By Livia Bitton-Jackson

As a young 11 year old girl; Livia was only dreaming about her schooling and how she longed to go to Budapest to study. WW2 was raging all over the world, but Livia only knew her small village, her family and her schooling. But rumors started to circulate and things started to change. Their village was sent to the ghetto and then 13 year old Livia was introduced to Auschwitz. Being separated from her father back in the ghetto, once again her and her mother were separated from family. Livia watched  as her brother was sent with other men to an opposite side as she followed her aunt and mother with hundreds of other women, as they we sorted and re-sorted into the concentration camp.

I don't know why; but I love learning about the holocaust and especially reading the survivors stories. Each new stories gives a behind the scenes account of what these people suffered through during this horrific time in our history. I am inspired by their courage, strength and above all their faith. Like any of these survival stories I always feel changed after I read their experiences and a sense of reverence always washes over me. I never feel like I do these books justice in my reviews. But then again, its hard to convey the experiences I  have while I read these historic accounts and its even harder to explain the impact it leaves on my heart and soul. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in learning the stories of these wonderfully strong people., who are the survivors of the Holocaust.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Meet Felicity

Meet Felicity By: Valerie Tripp

Ok so I know what your thinking. I have been reading all these historical non-fiction and pretty intense style books, why would I read this kids book?
These books were some of my favorite growing up. I couldn't get enough and then I found out there was dolls (which my parents would :( never buy) with accessories. Yup I was one of those little girls who LOVED the American Girl books. I couldn't get enough of the books. I have the set that looks like this...
Last night I decided to try and get my daughter interested in these books. It didn't work; I think I have to wait till she's a little older. But starting to read this book brought back a rush of memories and before I knew it I had read the whole book. :) It was a lot of fun and very nostalgic to re-read.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Goose Girl

The Goose Girl By: Shannon Hale

This is a book that was suggested to me by a few people. I felt like I have been reading a lot of books with heavy topics lately and wanted something a little lighter. Something where I could just get sucked into the story and not have to think to much, just enjoy. This book definitely delivered! 
Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee, Crown Princess of Kildenree was born with her eyes closed. It was 3 days before she opened them with the help of her Aunt. She spent most of her childhood with her aunt learning about and ancient language that most people didn't believe in. People Speech, Animal Speech and the very VERY rare Nature Speech.
Ani's juvenile years were spent learning how to become the queen of Kildenree until the sudden unexpected death of her father the king. The queen (Ani's mother) then announced to the kingdom that her brother would be taking the crown instead of her, she was to be married to the prince of their neighboring kingdom to secure peace between the two kingdoms. Crushed Ani packed her things to make the 4 month journey to her new home, but on the way was betrayed and left to fend for herself in a foreign land.

There is so much more I want to say about this book. Shannon Hale does a fantastic job taking the old Grimm brothers fairy-tale and breathing new life and detail into it. Giving the characters a deeper personality base and helping her reader to relate and connect with the characters on a more personal level. I am so happy that I read this book. I really enjoyed it and could see myself coming back to this story and group of characters.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Night By: Elie Wiesel

I thought I had read this book when I was younger, but after watching a documentary with Elie Wiesel I realized that I didn't recognize some of the stories. So I decided to read it and see if any of it came back to me. I realized that a story like his I definitely would have remembered.  I don't know why but I love to learn about the holocaust and especially reading the stories from the survivors. Elie Wiesel gives a narrative after the story, he talks about the original story and a few of the things that were taken out of the English translation because they publisher thought it was to personal. It kinda made me wonder, out of his whole story that he is telling why they decided to take just a few simple passages out when he is clearly telling his own very personal story and account of what happened to him. The version I read also included his acceptance speech of the Nobel peace prize, where he stated that as he was accepting this prize he could feel the presence of the people who didn't survive the camps. He said that he could especially feel the presence of his father, mother and little sister. He talked about how he wanted to continue to tell his story so that the memory of what happened doesn't become like myth and that people wont forget what happened to the Jewish people.
I really loved reading this story and learning about what happened to Elie. For anyone interested in the holocaust and the stories of the survivors this is a MUST read.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Adventures of Huckleberry Finn By: Mark Twain

This is another classic that I have been wanting to read for awhile. I own 4 different copies of this book but had never actually read it. A few years back I read Tom Sawyer and I felt like it was time to read this. I was very excited to find this version in audible. Elijah Wood does such a good job reading this books, I am biased yes, he is after all one of my favorite actors. :) But I was very impressed at all the voices he was able to do and how well he was able to speak the southern dialect. I am very happy that I am able to check this off my classics list. :)

After the adventure Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer had they found themselves with more money than they knew what to do with. Huck was adopted by the widow and she was trying to "civilize" him. He started to enjoy his life style till his drunkard abusive father came back to claim Huck as his. After awhile Huck got tired of being locked in the cabin when his father left and tired when his tired was back and drunk and beat him. So he devised a plan to make it look like he was murdered and he snuck down the Mississippi and hid on an island. There he found a runaway slave, but not any slave but Jim who use to work for the same widow that had adopted Huck. As Huck agreed to help Jim make it to the free states so he could be free, there adventures begin.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Lectures on Faith

Lectures on Faith

This is a book I have been wanting to read for awhile. It has been sitting on my shelf for over 4 years now. I really enjoyed extending my knowledge about faith and about the gospel of Christ and the origins of faith and power that faith contains. This was an in depth study of faith from the creation of the world till us now and how through faith we can come to know Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ on a personal level. I have enjoyed reading this and look forward to reading it again in the future but this time with a highlighter, notebook and my scriptures ready

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

The Last Apprentice: Curse of the Bane

The Last Apprentice-Curse of the Bane  By: Joseph Delaney

This is a book that I have been picking at for a few years now. I guess i just needed to be in the right mood for it or I have been craving holding a book in my hands again. Whatever the case may be, I picked it back up this weekend and couldn't put it down. It was a really interesting story that inspired a lot of wondrous emotions. Joseph Delaney does a good job helping you to not only relate to the characters but also to feel a connection to them.

Thomas Ward is the 7th son of a 7th son and 6 months into his apprenticeship with the county spook ( a dark fighter) Due to an illness the spook couldn't attend to the capturing of a dark creature known as a ripper. Tom must take of it on his own, he succeeds but to the loss of a priest who just happens to be the Spooks brother. The loss makes the spook realize that he needed to journey back to his home town of Priest town not just to pay last respects to his brother, but also to confront an old and horrible evil that he fears that if it grows stronger it will be hard to conquer. It is up to Tom and the Spook to confront the evil that lives in the catacombs below the church. The bane.

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Children of Hurin

The Children of Hurin BY: J.R.R Tolkien

This is a book that I picked up and started to read a long time ago when I was commuting on the train. After I stopped taking the train, this book fell by the wayside and I decided it was time to pick it back up and try again. When I saw this I thought I would really enjoy it because everything I had read so far of Tolkien's work I have loved.

This is the story that begun long before the One Ring was forged. A dark lord by the name of Morgoth was terrorizing Middle Earth and only one man dared stand up to him. Hurin dreamt of a time when the race of men could live in peace without fear of evil and darkness. He set out to war with elves and dwarfs to try and make this happen. He was captured by Morgoth and set upon a high rocky chair to watch as Morgoth cursed his family over and over. Hurin's son Turin and his daughter Nienor faced a number of hardships and evils. But no matter what darkness and evil that came upon them; they continued to fight for peace and light. Helping to shape the fortunes of their lives as well as the history of Middle Earth.

I will admit this isn't the cheeriest of books. However life isn't always cheery and happy stories. Bad things happen to good people for no apparent reason, And while I know reading books is an escape of the day to day. There was something about the stories of this brother and sister that was almost comforting. Even though bad things happen; we can still face our "demons" and even though the battle is fierce we can still triumph in the end. If you are looking for adventure, fantasy and love. This is the book for you. If you are looking for everything to be sunshine and rainbows in the end and everything just turns out wonderful, this is NOT the book for you.

Monday, June 29, 2015


Stardust By: Neil Gaiman

                          In a quaint small town in England is where this story starts. The town is called Wall it is so named because of a giant stone wall that is built along one of its meadows. The book starts with a single adventure of a young man named Dunston Thorne. On the other side of the wall is a magical land called Faerie and every few years the fair folk of Faerie and the normal folk of wall have a market. It is the only time the citizens of wall are allowed to cross said wall. It was then the Dunston met and fell in love with a beautiful slave girl. Which brought about Tristan Thorne, who at 18 was in love with the town beauty. Whilst walking her home one night they witnessed a falling star, he vowed to cross the wall to go and find the star and bring it back to her.
                         It's a book filled with princes, witches, adventures, unicorns and more. I saw the movie before I found out it was a book, and sought it out to read. I will admit it wasn't quite like the movie, but then again no book is. I find them very similar but different enough that you could see them as two different stories. I rather enjoyed both. There is a scene in the beginning that did make me blush a little, and would advise this to be a story for an older audience.

Happy Reading!

Monday, June 8, 2015


A personal note before I start my review I just want to say that I realize that my reviews are short and vague. I thought that by giving bits of information like how you would read the back of a book that it may leave out most of the spoilers and coax people to read. However I have come to realize that it just made for a bad review. So I will try and do better in the future. :)

Allegiant By: Veronica Roth

The adventures for Tris and Tobias and their friends continue in the last book of the divergent series. Allegiant. With Jeannie Mathews dead and the swarms of factionless rallying behind Evelyn a shocking video come to light about what lies outside of the city and the large fences. With the help of a group of rebels who want the factions back; calling themselves the Allegiant; Tris, Tobias and others sneak out of the city and its fences to see just what is outside. What they find is an even larger war and immediately get caught up in the need to figure out what really is right or wrong.

I enjoyed this book, however I didn't (at first) see the point in killing off certain characters that Veronica Roth did. But after thinking about the book and the characteristics of those characters I realized that  it was the only way and that it was set in those characters all along. I guess kind of like their destiny. I did enjoy this series and there is a chance that I will read it again in the future.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Insurgent By: Veronica Roth

Like a lot of middle books, this one wasn't quite as good as the first, but informative and set up the scene (at least I think) for the last book. I am happy though that she added a little of personal conflict with the main character so that you could relate with her even that much more. Not a lot of people go through scenarios like Tris does in the book. War and such. But everyone has personal conflicts with family, friends and relationships. So it was nice to see the complexity of a personal life continuing even through this massive community wide conflict. I am really excited to continue reading and find out what happens in the last book as well as other books that this author has written.

Amazon: One choice can transform you—or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves—and herself—while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.
Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable—and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


Divergent By: Veronica Roth

This is a book/series that has been recommended to me for awhile and surprisingly I didn't reject the suggestion like I do with a lot of "trendy" books. It was on my list, it just took awhile to get to. But once I started this book I was hooked. This book reminded me of both the giver and the hunger games combined. That is the only way that I can explain it. I really enjoyed the first book and I am currently enjoying the second book. :) As usually here is what the Amazon review says:

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas By: John Boyne

This is a book that I have been wanting to read for a long while, however I knew being a book about two boys and the holocaust that it was going to be a very difficult read. I decided to try it out this weekend and immediately was sucked into the story of Bruno and Schmuel. I am literally minutes from reading it and quite honestly I am having a hard time putting into words what I felt about this book. Over all I really love it. I guess you can say that's morbid what I am about to say next; I really enjoy reading about the holocaust. ever since I started to learn about the Holocaust in 8th grade I have always had a deep respect and fascination with it. Well maybe fascination isn't the best word, I guess it would be a yearning to learn as much as I could. Although this book is as the author puts it "Just a book" and the story of Bruno and Schmuel is not at all true, but simply a way to show the innocence that existed in the midst of so much evil. The author presents an interesting point of view that I haven't read yet before. Again even though the characters aren't based off actual people, just the way John presents the perspective of the holocaust through the eyes of an innocent 9 year old boy who was simply looking for a friend and for something to do and stumbled upon a boy sitting on the other side of a large fence by his house. I think it was interesting too the way that Bruno's father changed at the end of the book. I could see myself reading this again and when my little girl gets a little older to understand; sharing it with her as well.

Sunday, April 12, 2015


Inheritance By: Christopher Paolini

This is the last book of the Inheritance series. When it came out I told my husband that it was the only thing I wanted for Christmas. He was kind enough to get it for me and I started reading it, then we moved and I misplaced it and found it a few months later. Then we moved again and the book was lost in a box in a storage shed for close to 2 years. I was excited to find it again with this last move and decided to finish it no matter what.
Christopher Paolini has always been a little harder to read for me and most people I talk to. He does a good job setting up the story, but because of that it takes a long while to get into the books. But once you do its one that is hard to put down. This one proved to be the same except it started out fairly slow, picked up and then ended rather slowly as well. The end seemed to drag on just a bit. It felt as if Paolini himself felt sorry to see it end and had a hard time saying goodbye to the characters and the book. I am very glad that I got to finish this series though and I rather enjoyed the series.

Sunday, March 15, 2015


Coraline By: Neil Gaiman

This is a book I started to read as a fun quick read. We loved the movie and I wanted to see how close the movie was to the book. So I started it, but then I lost the book for awhile and couldn't finish it. But with this last move I found it again and decided to start over. The movie did a pretty good job, but of course didn't get as close to the book. For example, her parents weren't as mean as the movie portrayed, and Coraline solves a lot more of the problems on her own without a lot of help from the cat or the boy that's in the movie. This was a light fun read that I rather enjoyed. Its a little dark for younger kids and would recommend it for an older audience. Maybe pre-teems and up. 

Amazon says:
"Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house. . . ."
When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous.
But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tales From The Perilous Realm

Tales from the perilous realm By: J.R.R Tolkien

I really love Tolkien and haven't read anything of his that I haven't enjoyed. This is 4 different tales of different people, times and places. I was especially excited to see that the adventures of Tom Bombadil was one of the tales. Tom Bombadil is one of my favorite characters in the Lord of the Rings books. I did find Leaf of Niggle to be a little confusing. But I really enjoyed all of these tales. 

Amazon says:The book is the perfect opportunity for fans of Middle-earth to enjoy some of Tolkien’s often overlooked yet most creative storytelling. With dragons and sand sorcerers, sea monsters and hobbits, knights and dwarves, this collection contains all the classic elements for Tolkien buffs of all ages

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Audio vs. Paper/Ebook

So I have heard and been told that when you listen to an audio book you cant count that as "reading" the book. Since you are technically not reading it. I have heard audio books compared to movies, saying that its like listening to a movie with no picture. I am a VERY slow reader, seriously; it took me 3 years to read pride and prejudice. Anyway I find that I don't have a lot of time to actually sit down and crack open a book. My little toddler usually doesn't allow it. When I do get the opportunity its usually... well, midnight and by that time if I do read I only limit myself to about 30 min, so I can be good alert mommy in the morning, not zombie mom. I find audio books as a great way to read (if I can call it that) all these books that I want while I do things like clean the house and wash the dishes. Also these Classics that I want to read I find it sometimes difficult. That's why it took me 3 years to get through Pride and Prejudice. Its not that the book isn't good  I LOVED the book. It's just that you can get so lost in the language that I feel it starts to wear me down. My mind starts to wander and I sometimes read a whole paragraph and wonder what I just read. Being able to listen to classics like these on audio, it gives me a chance to focus and stay focused so I always know whats going on with the story. I have "read" some really great classics this way. Dracula, Frankenstein, Tom Sawyer, Wuthering Heights, (audio was the only way I was getting through that one.) Hans Christen Anderson's collection of Fairy tales , etc. I have also been able to "read" genres that I would have ever thought before. I guess my point is that not only is audio books convenient for myself, but they have opened up some many more options that I never would have picked up in actual book form to read and I wouldn't have been able to enjoy as many classics as I have if I wasn't able to listen to the audio book. Now I want to make a point in saying that when I choose an audio book, especially if its a classic; I always make sure its the unabridged version so I don't miss a thing. This is my argument against why I believe that whether its audio, ebook or paper book, when you "read" it no matter in what form you have read it. But as always I would like to know peoples opinions on the matter and see what you think on this topic. So the floor is now yours, keep it clean and tasteful. No bullying or paragraphs of cursing. Please respect everyone and their opinion(s). Thank you. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015


Innocence By: Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is one of those authors that I have avoided for a long time. It seemed like he produced a lot of books way to fast and it made me wonder how good the books really were. This book was this months book for a book club that I am in. The book intrigued me when I started it but about half way through I started having a hard time with the language, one of the characters and the disturbing images that this book brought with it. If it wasn't for a few of the lose ends that needed to be tied up I might have either stopped reading or at least put the book down for awhile. But at the end it was all tied in very nicely and I understood more about the nature of those things that disturbed me. So in the end the book was ok. Would I read it again? No. Will I read another Dean Koontz? Possibly.

Here's the description by

He lives in solitude beneath the city, an exile from society, which will destroy him if he is ever seen.
She dwells in seclusion, a fugitive from enemies who will do her harm if she is ever found.
But the bond between them runs deeper than the tragedies that have scarred their lives. Something more than chance—and nothing less than destiny—has brought them together in a world whose hour of reckoning is fast approaching.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Host

The Host By: Stephenie Meyer

This book took me a REALLY long time to finish. I started it and I just couldn't get into it, I set it side for a long time. Everyone I talked to said that the part I was at is boring but I was about to get to where the book really takes off. I had not just one of two but quite a few people tell me this. I decided to pick it up and try it again. They were right it did pick up, but not to the point where I couldn't put it down like before. In fact this was just a read every now and then while I was really reading another book. So once again it eventually got put down. Finally I needed to decide if I wanted to leave forever and not finish it, or if I wanted to try and just push through it to finish it. I have a really hard time not finishing a book for some reason, so I decided I needed to focus on this book and just finish it. The end was a little better than I though, but my problem is that this book just really seemed to drag. There was a lot of just everyday life that could have been taken out to shorten this book. 59 chapters plus an epilogue plus a continued and a bonus chapter were a bit much. Granted those last few extra chapters where kinda nice, but because of the 59 plus chapters before it wasn't like the normal satisfaction I usually feel after I've read a book, it was more like a finally its over feeling. Overall I did enjoy most of the story but I really dont think I am ever going to pick up this book again.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year

I didn't get close to my goal last year to read 25 books, I was only able to get through 11...well unless you count textbooks which I didn't. :p It's bad enough that I am a slow reader but when you throw school in the mix it makes it REALLY hard to find the time to read.

Due to money issues I might not be able to re-start school till the fall. So I think I might be able to hit my resolution this year. I made a 2015 Resolution with Goodreads  to read 20 books this year. I would like to also add an additional new year resolution.

We recently moved, while I was unpacking I realized how many books that I hadn't read yet. Both on my shelf and on my audio account. So of the 20 books that I want to read for the new year, I want 10 of those to be books that are either on my shelf already, or on my audio account that I haven't read/listened to yet.

So there it is, now what would a resolution be without a reward for completing it? This is something new that I want to try, but I hope that it will help urge me to read more, watch less TV and complete this resolution. So my reward for reading 20 books this year is a steak and lobster dinner and dessert at the Rib and Chop house. There is it. I hope everyone has a happy 2015 and good luck on all your resolutions.