Consequences and Chaos: My TBR Jar

Credit: Curiosity Quills


If you have been checking into Land of 1000 Wonders lately, you probably know I have a TBR mountain. Indeed, it is named Mt. Kilamanchaos. My review requests have been closed for two years at this point, and I don’t foresee them opening back up again, in all honesty.

I still have books I have not reviewed from my first year of blogging. I had every intention of reading these books, and then life and blogging and Mt. Kilamanchaos happened. All I can say is, “Look! I’ve read Scott Cramer’s Night of the Purple Moon!” That was the first book I had to bail on.

And then came NetGalley. There should be a required training course before you are allowed to access NetGalley. They need to tamp down the MUST GET ALL ZE BOOKS! mentality. There needs to be a chastity belt so NetGalley safeguards their galleys for just the right folks, or else they’ll end up with people. People like me.

Yes, I went hog wild when I was approved for NetGalley. I remember two summers ago sitting on the floor of my bedroom, hiding in the corner like Allie Brosh, being 200 pages in and still going strong requesting books. It’s like self-hating addiction: I know it’s bad for me to eat this cake (ahem, request from NetGalley), but I just can’t stop myself. Perhaps in my head I am beginning to believe that only my books love me and I must have all the love. Anyway, that’s my story of how I landed 500+ NetGalley books.

I also have quite a number of audibooks I’ve been selecting from SYNC’s summer program. You get two free audiobooks each week during summer! I’ve very slowly been making my way through them, but this summer is fast approaching and I need clean shelves for the new titles.

And let’s not even talk about Amazon freebies.

To sum it up, my Kindle is a black hole of books.

I am no longer in denial. I have accepted it. Now the question is, what do I do? I have all these NetGalley books, all these free Amazon books, two shelves jam packed of books I’ve bought or been gifted over the last three-ish years, and a handful of books from The Story Plant. I’m like an ostrich with my head in the sand! I love them and want to read them all…I just don’t know how.

So I finally made myself do it. I concocted my own TBR Jar. I originally got the idea from Kelley and Oh, The Books!, and realized I really needed to start cleaning house…or rather, my Kindle and shelves. I used Kelley’s TBR Jar as a model to create my own.

The Materials

I kept it simple. As pretty as the TBR Jars are out there, I needed to keep it simple and do my own. I needed to own it. I also needed to own my hoarding.


I started with the most basic of supplies: one tie-dyed cardstock scrap-booking set of paper (on clearance for $4), a nice sized glass jar, a cutter with 8 different line forms, my ever-faithful Flair pens, and Washi tape.

The Organizing

I have books to read from NetGalley. I have books to read from Amazon. I have books to read from authors. I have books to read from The Story Plant. I have books to read that I bought for myself or have been given.

When I started thinking about my TBR Jar, I knew I had to coordinate this. I am a very Type-A, organized person. Things must be color-coordinated.

I picked out a color for each category of books I need to read. It was pretty random in the assigning of color, and the colors didn’t really matter anyway. I suppose I could have coordinated NetGalley with green since that is one of their primary colors.

  • Blue – NetGalley books
  • Green – Amazon ebooks
  • Yellow/Orange – Review books
  • Purple – Audiobooks
  • Pink – Physical books
  • Red – Series I NEED to Finish

I started with one 12″ cardstock page of each color. I then cut the pages into strips and cut each strip in half to make two smaller strips. Each page ended up totaling somewhere around 30 strips each. For the categories with 30+ books, I used every strip for a title and dropped into the jar.

Of course, I didn’t use ALL of those strips. I still had some yellow, red, and purple left over after I put the titled slips in the jar.

left over strips

 The Honesty Rules

What is the point of a TBR Jar if you aren’t honest and faithful? I have to be committed! … So. There are rules. And they must be followed.

  1. You picked it, you read it! There are no take backs.
  2. I can select a certain color (category) when drawing. (Ahem, NetGalley!)
  3. If I draw a book in a series, I must read the next two books in the series.*
  4. If I am on a reviewing deadline, I can prioritize those books and read first instead of drawing.

*If I own the books. If I do not own the next book in the series, I will scrimp to find a copy. If I do not agree on the price and cannot obtain one otherwise, I can move on to a new pick. BUT I must create a strip for the jar on the book I passed up. That’s a fair deal.

Adding Books

At some point I will replenish my jar with more book titles. My objective this year was to focus on my NetGalley books, which I have been doing a spectacular job of ignoring. I also want to honor all those commitments I made previously to authors and get their books off my plate (and the guilty noose tucked neatly away).


Do you have a TBR Jar? Have you ever thought of making one? Tell me about yours – or mine – in the comments!

2018 Mount TBR Reading Challenge

Mount TBR is hosted by Roof Beam Reader.

The Challenge:  

Read as many books from your TBR!

The Rules

This challenge will run from January 1 to December 31, 2018. 

  • Choose a level (peak) to conquer. Once you choose your challenge level, you are locked in for at least that many books.
  • If you find that you’re on a mountain-climbing roll and want to tackle a taller mountain, then you are certainly welcome to upgrade.
  • You can submit your list in advance.
  • Books must be owned prior to January 1, 2018. No library books.
    • RESTRICTION: Rereads only count if you didn’t own the book when you first read it AND you bought it pre-January 1, 2018.
    • ASSIST: You can count a “currently reading” book that you began reading prior to January 1, granted that you are 50% into the book by the time January 1, 2018 hits.
    • ASSIST: You can count DNF books based on your own standards for DNFing.
  • There are quarterly check-ins and prizes!

Challenge Levels:

Pike’s Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s
Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s
El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s
Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s
Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s

Mount Kilimanjaro

60+ books

  1. Saturdays at Sweeney’s
  2. One True Pairing
  3. Game of Hearts
  4. A Wedding at Two Love Lane
  5. The Rogue is Back in Town
  6. Wallflower Most Wanted
  7. A Devil in Scotland
  8. Unmasking Juliet
  9. Cactus Rose
  10. My Lady Governess


End of Year Survey – 2016 Edition


This is the 7th Annual End of Year Book Survey that Jamie @ The Perpetual Page-Turner started for herself years ago. Last year there were over 350 participants! While I didn’t participate last year, I did participate in 2014 and I’m doing so again!


Number Of Books You Read: 55
Number of Re-Reads: 4
Genre You Read The Most From: Romance followed by Middle Grades



1. Best Book You Read In 2016?

I could not pick a singular book for my best of 2016 reads because I knew there were a select few that stood out to all take the title, so I have broken them up by genre. Links will take you to my review.

Mystery: Regarding Anna | Fantasy: The Neverland Wars

Historical Fiction: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet | MG: Wonder

Audiobook: Code Name Verity | Graphic Novel: Awkward

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

21876672This past year my school received a grant to purchase graphic novels specifically for our lower level readers, and I was pleased that our book fair showcased more graphic novels, too. So I bought several! Lumberjanes was just one of them.

I wanted so much to like this girl-power punk graphic novel about friendship way more than I did. I did enjoy it, but there are a lot of folks who talked about the randomness of a lot in the book. It’s like there were sudden inside jokes that readers weren’t privy to, and we felt left out and I was very confused.

 3. Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?  

Code Name Verity caught me entirely off-guard. I wasn’t prepared for that book at all. I don’t think I even read the synopsis. It was just one I snagged and listened to.

 4. Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?

I think this would be Wonder by R.J. Palacios. I talked this book up quite a bit in the spring, and I know several bloggy friends put it on their lists with intentions of reading. It’s a book that everyone needs to read – child, teen, adult – young or old. The lessons from just this one book are good for all.

 5. Best series you started in 2016? Best Sequel of 2016? Best Series Ender of 2016?

I didn’t read any series enders in 2016…should that be a future goal for myself?

Best Series – Power of the Matchmaker … a new novel each month written by a different author following Pearl the matchmaker as she goes about the world making matches.

Best Sequel – The Siren … the sequel to The Soul Summoner

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2016?

Jeff Anderson, author of middle grades read Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth, is my favorite new author from the year. I loved reading his highly comical and thoughtful read about middle schoolers, and I had hoped this would not be his only fiction book. I wasn’t disappointed! In September he revealed his new book, which I pre-ordered right that minute!

7. Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?

I don’t typically read YA anymore, and definitely not dystopian YA, but I decided it was finally time to read Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer. I was supposed to participate in a tour for this book years ago and I had to back out. It was my first year teaching. I decided to honor the commitment, belatedly.

 8. Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?

This one has to go to Regarding Anna. Once I got into the book, I could not put it down. What was the connection between her parents and Anna Vargas? Why did they have a piece of wallpaper from her boarding house? Why was her office mate having her followed? What happened in the boarding house in 1943?

 9. Book You Read In 2016 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

I really don’t like to re-read books, especially so shortly after I’ve read them once. The only books that fall into this category are books I read with my students, like Trouble River and Where the Red Fern Grows.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2016?

29413642The cover of 27 Days to Midnight has to be my favorite of the year. It has so many elements, represents the book so well, and is stunning and simple. The depth of the background is impressive and the sweep of the clothing


11. Most memorable character of 2016?

I – and my class – fell in love with Auggie from R.J. Palacios’s Wonder. His story and his lessons were important points of discussion with my students and he is not someone I think we’ll ever forget.

 12. Most beautifully written book read in 2016?

I think the most beautifully written was The Earl’s New Bride. While that wasn’t something I pointed out in my review, I did enjoy the development of the characters and plot, and just the overall craft.

13. Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2016?

I learned new things in reading Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. I could not imagine the distinctive hatred that Henry’s father held for the Japanese, and the incivility that Henry suffered growing up Chinese in white America.   His honest friendship with Keiko and the events following their meeting call into question everything Henry is raised to believe…everything he is. And he betrays it. For all the right reasons. It made me think about the life Henry had to live – hiding who he really was and trying to make Keiko something she was not just to protect her and losing his family in the process. It was a very powerful book.

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2016 to finally read? 

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2016?

He thought about those three Japanese couple laying facedown on the dirty floor of the Black Elks Club in their evening finery. Being hauled out and jailed somewhere. He stared back at Mr. Preston, a man trying to buy land out from under families who were now burning their most precious possessions to keep from being called traitors or spies.

For the first time Henry realized where he was, standing on one side of an unseen line between himself and his father, and everything else he’d known. He couldn’t recall when he’d crossed it and couldn’t see an easy way back.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

16.Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2016?

*UPDATED* Apparently I was wrong!



 17. Book That Shocked You The Most

Plot Twists – Regarding Anna

There were so many twists to this novel. It was rife with twists, and the ending was the cake topper. I read those two lines and went on. And then I stopped. And my brain caught up. I went back and reread and it all hit me at once. It was incredibly crazy.

Twist on Original – The Neverland Wars

Peter Pan is not seen as the carefree character of Disney day. Instead, he kidnaps children (allegedly). There is an evil that is lurking about Neverland, and it’s not Captain Hook.

18. OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)

I will go down shipping Jules and her high school sweetheart Thomas from the Bakeshop Mystery series by Ellie Alexander. Even though Jules is married to Carlos, and Carlos himself is lovely, I don’t think they should ever have married. It should be Thomas.

19. Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year

Noah, Austin, and Asher – the children from Between Heaven and Earth. They have a great friendship – a boys’ friendship – with one another and band together like brothers. Their relationship with their parents as their respective children and also not as their children was just so fun to read!

20. Favorite Book You Read in 2016 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Karey White wrote the first book in the Power of the Matchmaker series, and I previously read the entire Husband Maker trilogy. I loved her characters and they were once again heartfelt in Broken Things to Mend.

21. Best Book You Read In 2016 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:

Wonder. My entire school district was required to read it.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2016?

I really didn’t have a crush this year. Going back and looking at all the books I’ve read this year, there weren’t any that I picked out to answer this.

23. Best 2016 debut you read?

This would have to be either Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth or Awkward.

24. Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?

27 Days to Midnight had the best world-building, but Anne of Green Gables had the best setting.

25. Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?

Hands down, Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth.

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2016?

The better question is, which books didn’t make me cry? LOL. I know that these ones definitely did: Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Code Name Verity, Wonder, Oklahoma Christmas Blues.

27. Hidden Gem Of The Year?

25786965Study Hall of Justice. It’s DC Comics! Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman when they’re still young and not 100% on who they are.

They attend a prestigious private school (of course) and realize there’s something strange going on, including the ninjas Bruce keeps seeing around. All of the classic villains are also there, too!

28. Book That Crushed Your Soul?

Code Name Verity. There was a moment when I was hiding out in the bathroom, keening. There are very few books that have caused that level of emotional response.

29. Most Unique Book You Read In 2016?

The most unique book I read was Brain Camp. It was…special.

30. Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?

I was very annoyed by Four Chambers, one in the Power of the Matchmaker series. The two MCs just annoyed me.



1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2016?

This is tough since I don’t think about how long I’ve been keeping up with a blog or when I first started following them. I don’t know how long I’ve been keeping up with Deb from Australia, but I love checking in at I am always rethinking my perspective when I read her posts.

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2016?

I think the best review I wrote in 2016 was the review I wrote for The Neverland Wars. Only a few weeks ago I received an email from the author, Audrey Greathouse, telling me she kept the things I said in mind to help her writing for the next book.

3. Best discussion/non-review post you had on your blog?

This year the question of copied features kept springing up around the blogosphere, and there were some incidents, some of them pretty bad. I am always the last to know anything and so out of the loop, so when I read others’ posts I always am thinking What the heck happened? And then one day I got a subscription email from a blog I followed that I didn’t even know was still active. I had started a new feature…and our titles…and seemingly the premises were the same. Dilemma. And My Confession About My “Copied” Features was written. It was emotional writing it because the reason behind me starting the feature is strong.

4. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

I attended this year’s Texas Teen Book Festival and went all-out as much as my introverted self can at something like that. I didn’t stand in line to get any books signed because this year they the bulk of books pre-signed, but as Ally Carter was signing her stacks in the book sales area, I struck up a conversation with her (she came to my school last year) and she signed my book there.

5. Best moment of bookish/blogging life in 2016?

I think that would have been this summer when I had some creative juices flowing and I created some pretty graphics for a few posts. I was pretty proud of them!

I was also very proud of myself that when it came time to move, I finally took care of quite a few books that I had weeded out and set aside or were just keeping around for no reason. It wasn’t an insane amount, probably less than two dozen books, but it was still a monumental moment.

6. Most challenging thing about blogging or your reading life this year?

Two things: time and motivation. I should probably tack on creativity. I had a short burst of some creative juices in early summer, and I think I tapped my resources for the year.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Since my most popular post this year was a post I wrote my first year of blogging, I’ve subdivided this section.

Most Popular Post – by Views

Most Popular Post – by Comments

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

My story about how I came into book blogging is…interesting.

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Um. I will admit my closet jealousy. I really, really have fallen in love with Punko dolls after seeing them everywhere in all these amazing bookstagrammers’ photos. (I call them Funko dolls!)


10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I only completed my Goodreads goal this year. Trust me, it is a reality check.


1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2016 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2017?

There were a LOT of books I didn’t get to in 2016. I’ve already made some January commitments, but once I have those read and reviewed, I need to read a book I’ve put off for the most of 2016…

Resolution-800 Cover reveal and Promotional

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2017 (non-debut)?

This is a toss-up. I adored both of these author’s debut novels (Hope in Every Raindrop and The Neverland Wars).

3. 2017 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

29875915 While Donna Alward isn’t a debut author, she is debuting a new series in 2017 and I am signed on to review the first book in the series in January.

Somebody Like You has a small-town feel and is all about Darling, Vermont’s famous Kissing Bridge.

 4. Series Ending/A Sequel You Are Most Anticipating in 2017?

I am really looking forward to Ellie Alexander’s next two installments in the Bakeshop Mystery series!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging Life In 2017?

This year I want to truly tackle my NetGalley mess. I have requested so many books over the years, and when I first started I had no idea how NetGalley really worked. My current ratio is 6%. I reviewed only six titles this year, mostly titles published this year that I was invited to join for tours. I need to focus on my backlog of books I have requested over these years. I made the commitment and I need to do what I need to do.

6. A 2017 Release You’ve Already Read & Recommend To Everyone:


WWW Wednesdays (December 14)


This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading? 


This one wasn’t on my list of to-reads, but I found it on my Kindle and it was the first Christmas read in my carousel, so Wish Upon a Bear it is! I started reading it Sunday night and didn’t have too much time on it before calling it bedtime.

Curvy girl Zara is used to working over the holidays. The pay is good, and it fills the lonely hours, when everyone else is celebrating with their family. This year is different. As a newly qualified teacher, she’s given herself a Christmas vacation.

So, when she is invited by her old friend Dylan and his family to spend the holidays in Bear Bluff, she agrees. There she finds something much better than a gift under the Christmas tree!

Theo can’t believe his luck. He arrives to help Dylan mend his grandpa’s roof, and instead meets his mate. All his Christmases have come at once. There is only one thing that is stopping him having his best Christmas ever—Dominic.

Dominic is a young offender who is shadowing Theo as part of the project Dylan has set up to help young people who need a fresh start. The problem is, Theo has a feeling Dominic is about to skip town, and break his probation. Can he and Zara work together, to make sure everyone in Bear Bluff has the best Christmas ever?

 What did you just finish reading?

cover83968-mediumWhile I was writing my Sunday Post on Sunday mid-morning, I did a little write-up for my reading section and realized I do not like this book. Parallel Roads was a TBR Jar pick and a NetGalley book in particular. I have been “reading” this book for over two weeks and I am barely 1/4 of the way through it. The last few times I’ve picked it up to read I have fallen asleep – and not because I was reading at bedtime. I couldn’t read this book for more than five minutes.

So, despite being so close to the end of the year and this being a NetGalley book, I DNFed it with a two star rating. The book is just too strange for me. I didn’t understand what in the hell was going on anymore, and I just couldn’t keep wasting time trying to figure it out.


What do you think you’ll read next?

I have such a handful of Christmas reads to get to!



 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

Sunday Post ~ The Chaotic Chill

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

This week  was a whirlwind. There were some issues with testing this week that through off the entire week and our new unit, which is a PBL project. It is all off-kilter now. As we wind down the semester before winter break, I’m surprised the kids are pretty mellow.

Something did happen this week, though, that frustrated me quite a bit involving a coworker. I don’t even know how to talk about it besides the fact that I hope this is the end of the looped conversation.

I took the man to the airport on Tuesday to fly up north. He spends every December with his dad, and even though this is only year two doing this, it was hard to drop him off at the airport. I miss him, but it’s a different kind of missing him. He’s 2,000 miles away for 18 more days. It really puts into perspective our servicemen and women deployed overseas. I don’t think I would be able to get through that, so I am thankful the man’s deployments are behind him.

Baby is settling into the new house well. She adores Photographer Dad. The first night he apologized to me for stealing my dog since she was hanging out with him.


Still none this week, but there will be giveaways next week!




  • Monday
    • Review ~ O’er the River Liffey
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ 
    • First Chapter First Paragraph ~ TBD
    • Blitz + Giveaway ~ Indelible: Beneath His
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
    • Blitz + Giveaway ~ This Pieces of My Soul
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #18
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ Protagonist Doppelganger


cover83968-mediumI’m still trying to get through my TBR Jar pick. Every time I pick the book up, I can’t read for more than 5 minutes. Yesterday I fell asleep reading it in the middle of the day. I made a conscious effort to see how far along I am, and I’m only 1/4 of the way through the book. I think this is going to be a DNF if I can’t read this book like I normally do.



This is a feature I am adding to my Sunday Posts. After being asked by a coworker – in all seriousness – if I had a life, I decided to join disc jockey Bobby Bones of Kase 101 in doing one human thing each week.

How does it work?

In order to not lose what little sanity I have left and in order to not become enslaved to the Texas Education Agency via my school district, I will…

  • leave school within an hour of dismissal once a week
  • go do one human thing with another human
  • talk about my human thing on the blog each week

Two days this week I was home at an early time, and I spent the entire time doing whatever I wanted. Relaxing, watching my newfound TV show, catching up on my games and a little on the blog. I got to meet Photographer Dad’s mother, who was in town for the week, and she is a whirlwind!


Sunday Post ~ Decidedly December

0abf9b9e-b7ac-4d59-b451-7eb7c64ea1b9_zps47hi5hueThe Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news, a post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things received, and share news about what is coming up on the blog for the week ahead. To get in on the Sunday funday, see the rules here: Sunday Post Meme.

Heeeeeyyyy! I am officially returning from my hiatus. It might be a little slow going at first. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving holiday!

The move is over. 🙂 In the process I made the smart decision to send some items to the man’s house that will end up there anyway in May/June. I already have my bookcase and breakables set up. I still have a couple of boxes I’m not sure what to do with right now, so they’re just sitting around for the moment. I’m also pretty proud of myself; I purged and gave away quite a bit of stuff. I still want to go through and weed out some more things.

I’ve been in the new house for a little over two weeks and I’ve got the bathroom and my bedroom sorted out. I still need to battle the closet for a better solution, and figure out my plant situation before the first freeze. My sleeping has also drastically changed. I’m not continually waking up during the night. The stress of that entire situation had more of an impact than I realized, and I’m glad it’s over.

Baby hasn’t yet been to the new house; she’s been staying at the man’s this entire time. While she is enjoying all her spoiled rotten time with the man, I miss her during the week. Now that everything is moved and set up for the most part, she’s coming home with me this week. She won’t be too happy when she realizes later this week that the man has flown home for Christmas.


Nothing for this week! Keep your eyes peeled.




  • Monday
    • Audiobook Review ~ Dodger
  • Tuesday
    • Top Ten Tuesday ~ For the First Time in 2016
    • First Chapter First Paragraph ~ TBD
  • Wednesday
    • WWW Wednesday
  • Thursday
    • Famous Last Words #17
  •  Friday
    • Feature Follow Friday ~ Protagonist Doppelganger


I recently finished reading a few books. Two were the novel units I was reading with my students. To find out more about these books and what I thought about them, check out my WWW Wednesday post.

cover83968-mediumI’m currently reading a pick from my TBR Jar. Since I have sucked so hard at my NetGalley challenge this year, I decided to purposefully pick a NetGalley book strip. And the winner was Parallel Roads. The beginning was kind of strange, and then things took an even stranger turn, and I’m not too sure about it.



This is a feature I am adding to my Sunday Posts. After being asked by a coworker – in all seriousness – if I had a life, I decided to join disc jockey Bobby Bones of Kase 101 in doing one human thing each week.

How does it work?

In order to not lose what little sanity I have left and in order to not become enslaved to the Texas Education Agency via my school district, I will…

  • leave school within an hour of dismissal once a week
  • go do one human thing with another human
  • talk about my human thing on the blog each week

This week I’m forgoing my Human Connection piece to talk about some shows I’ve watched recently. Y’all, I have a phobia to finding and starting new shows. I don’t like doing it. Expectations. Disappointment. Giving something a chance and not liking it really bugs me. I have been on a tear lately trying new shows, and since I’m not up on currently aired shows I decided to go back to Hulu.

The Disappointments


The Shining Stars 

Based on what I do like, do you have any suggestions for me? 

WWW Wednesdays (November 30)


This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading? 

Before my disappearance and then my official hiatus, I mentioned I wanted to become more of a mood reader. Since this is a new thing for me, I’m finding it hard. Like, how do you guys do this? For this reason – and the fact that I actually have my TBR Jar with me  for once – I drew from my TBR Jar!

What would you do, if you had the chance to revisit all your decisions, to fix all your mistakes?

cover83968-mediumCelebrity chef, Jessie McCormick is incredibly late. Driving his Hummer to the opening of his latest restaurant seemed like a much better idea than flying, but incomprehensible directions and a dodgy shortcut throws him instead into the driveway of a rickety old house. Hopeful of finding the house occupied – and its inhabitants capable of directing him to Brisbane – he heads inside.

Voices lead him into the attic, and there he finds no direction – and every direction. The attic is an endless line of doors and ladders, each taking Jessie down a different path of his life. In one, he is a celebrity chef, fêted by the world. In another, his mother is still alive. In a third, his beloved sister is dead.

But in all of them is a small, dusty town and a small, dusty restaurant, run by a woman named Tara. As Jessie races to find his way back to his own life, he must make the biggest decision of his life: rescue his sister or take his chance at true love.

 What did you just finish reading?

Notice how there are dogs on all the covers? LOL! It was not intentional. My classes finished reading Trouble River and Where the Red Fern Grows. My students this year impressed me: they collectively scored higher on their novel unit tests than any of the classes years prior.  Ironically, TR and WTRFG are the exact same reading level, which mystifies me given the syntax of WTRFG in terms of vocabulary, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences.

Rosco the Rascal Visits the Pumpkin Patch was a cute and light read. The perspective is interesting because we get Rosco’s internal thoughts and workings. He really is a good dog, but mischief just seems to follow him around.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, ’tis the season! 🙂



 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂

July Chit Chat

Monthly Chit Cat

July News

July brought the realities of returning to school back. Seven work days I spent in trainings and doing curriculum writing, and many days working on school work (yearbook contracts, setting up Google Classroom, writing a better syllabus, etc.). Summer is officially over. I am stressing about my yearbook sections, as I wasn’t given a second classroom for them and we do not have any technology. Not sure how a yearbook publication will be worked on without computers. Last year I kept breaking my lanyards, and it was The Year of the Broken Lanyards. This year? I think it’s The Year The Shit Runs Downhill.

For the most part, I laid low in July. Truly, I’ve been bumming all summer as much as I could. It is something completely out of character for me, and the man supported it wholeheartedly.

I also came to a realization about my brothers. Out of those incidents, I have decided I am no longer going to do things for people out of a sense of obligation, especially when I am putting more effort into attending something or doing something for them. I’m just not anymore because I always feel bad after. Reciprocation is important!

July Reads

Average Rating: 4.28
Pages Read: 1,693
Favorite Book: Awkward

Noteworthy Posts

In general, this was a good month. Last week I had a lot of traffic to my WWW Wednesday post, which was a pick-me-up since I’ve fallen into a little slump again.

These are the posts that garnered a lot of attention this month:

  • My review of Caught Bread Handed, the fourth book in the Bakeshop Mysteries series by Ellie Alexander.
  • My Top Ten Tuesday post about Underdogs (books with less than 10 reviews).
  • My recent Thoughts on Thursday post about my Lack of Creativity.

I also had a few posts that I feel were very important for me to share:

  • My review of The SockKids Say No to Bullying. This was a short book that is part of The SockKids series. This was the first I’ve heard of them, but I thought this particular book was very powerful.
  • My Top Ten Tuesday post celebrating Books Set Outside the U.S. While working on this post, I was a little amazed at how many books fit into this category – most that I couldn’t include because there were just too many. Yes, most of those that I do read are set in Europe (primarily England), but I was still proud that I could share so many books that I’ve read.


July Visitors & Search Terms

July brought 1,240 pageviews, which is a decline from last month. I understand since I wasn’t very active in visiting and commenting back in the last two weeks. Overall, it was still a good month. I am noticing more people are commenting, and I truly believe it’s about reciprocating.

Interestingly enough, I had a bunch of unknown search terms and then these four:

  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – Yes, I loved it! I hope you liked my review. 
  • Harry Potter Goblet of Fire – Dude, you were already here. Taking out “and the” didn’t change much.
  • Potion for Correct Prediction/Ingredients – Try this: A robin’s egg, three strands of seaweed, and a hair from your teacher’s mole. Mix together until smooth and drink on on the eve of the full moon on the seventh month following the autumnal equinox.
  • Harry Potter the making Gobblet of Fire – That would be a movie, and this blog is for books. Perhaps you should take a grammar course.

Challenge Updates

I’ve kinda been paying a little better attention to my challenges. Right now my NetGalley is my focus. I know I’ve said that for half a year now, but I am done with review tour books and I’m slating my TBR Jar until I get a substantial number of galleys read.

August Reads

August brings school duties back in full force overdrive. I know my time will be limited so I’m not hanging my hat on reading all of these books, but they are I currently plan to read next.

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: Regarding Anna

First Chapter First Paragraph

Today I’m participating in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, in which bloggers share a bit about a book they’re reading or planning to read soon.

I have only one more pre-TBR Jar book to finish! Although I have already read a few of my TBR Jar reads, and at this point I’m scratching anything non-NetGalley…so really, the TBR Jar is kind of out the window at this point. My next read will be Regarding Anna by Florence Osmund. I really like the cover, and I hope the book lives up to the expectations the cover presents.

25059492Chapter 1

The Kindness of Strangers

Under different circumstances I could have been a carefree twenty-two-year-old driving to Oak Street Beach for a much-needed reprieve from the sweltering heat instead of sitting on the No. 54 bus headed for a shady neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side in search of Erma Fincutter. I had no one but myself to blame for my discontent – I could have simply accepted my uncertain parentage four years ago and moved on with my life in a more conventional way. But if I was right about things, all the aggravation I would endure in search of the truth would pay off in the end. If I was right about things.


Things that happen to you in the past can mold you into someone you’re not.

After recovering from the shock of her parents perishing in a tragic accident, Grace Lindroth discovers clues in their attic that cause her to believe the people she called Mom and Dad her whole life may not have been her real parents.

In her search for the truth, Grace encounters people whose actions cause her to be distrustful of just about everyone, making her mission that much more difficult but heightening her determination to uncover what she believes is essential for her to go on with her life.

Would you keep reading?  

WWW Wednesdays (July 20)


This is a weekly meme hosted hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. To join in answer the following three questions and hop over to Sam’s and leave your link.

What are you currently reading? 

I didn’t manage to get my post completed last week since I wasn’t up to it, and then when I felt like it I was out for the day with my brother home on his two-week leave…and of course it was too late!

I’m also pleased to announce that with my review of Caught Bread Handed added to NetGalley, I officially climbed up a percentage point! I also need to add another review for a book I haven’t written up yet, and then that will be my focus for the remainder of the year. Every week you should ask me which books are NetGalley. :/


I started reading A Love that Never Tires and it’s taking me a while to work through it. I didn’t realize how long it was. I am really liking Linley’s character. It is set in 1913 and there have been a couple of things I have questioned being available or proper even during this advanced time period.

Linley Talbot-Martin is a girl who likes to get her hands dirty. As the daughter of a famous archaeologist, she’s been everywhere and seen everything—except London. When the Talbot-Martin team travels there for her father’s investiture, Linley finally gets her wish. But when the time comes to trade her jodhpurs and work boots for silk gowns and kid gloves, she may be in over her head.

Even though she can out-ride, out-shoot, and outsmart any girl in London society, Linley is destined to be the failure of the season. No one she meets cares about ancient pottery or lost Buddhist texts, and fundraising efforts for future expeditions keep coming up short. If the Talbot-Martin team doesn’t find money soon, they will be out of a job, and Linley will lose everything she holds dear.

Patrick Wolford, Marquess of Kyre (pronounced ‘Keer’), is a man who knows his place. Well-connected and respected, he is everything everyone expects him to be, but beneath his façade, he is as neglected and crumbling as the family estate. Now the strain of keeping up appearances is taking its toll. The smart thing would be to marry the heiress nipping at his heels and be done with it, but when he meets Linley Talbot-Martin, who dares to shake up his seemingly proper world, he must choose between the life he’s always known and one he never dared to dream of.

 What did you just finish reading?

Since I last saw you two weeks ago, I have finished a handful of books despite my nearly week-long anti-book attitude. I am hella behind on reviews (I had over ten to write!), so all but SockKids will be rolling out in the coming weeks.

Awkward was incredible. The setting and situations are perfect for middle and high school students. If you know one, please get them this book! It speaks to so many issues they face at that age: fitting in, peer pressure, keeping up, competing, doing the right thing. I love the solutions to the problems the characters came up with!

The Money Tree was interesting. I loved the younger brother’s character in this book. He is more than meets the eye!  I didn’t understand the fullness of the economic aspects because I don’t know too terribly much in that realm, but the premise is one that does pose several questions for thought. Since I don’t know how to talk to the economic side of things, I thought Dianne summed them up pretty well in her Goodreads review:

Has Helen Yeoman made a powerful statement regarding the monetary system, economics, and the fragile balance of modern finance? We all have said, thought, wished that money grew on trees, but have we thought about the ramifications or the responsibility of such a thing? Driven by it’s whimsical, and offbeat characters, The Money Tree is an often humorous look at what could happen if one’s green thumb had the Midas Touch.

I adored The Earl’s New Bride! It was a refreshing read that truly featured two characters with flaws beyond the tropes. An ethereal beauty with a speech impediment. A truly damaged male love interest. And all of the potential brides start coming down with sudden ailments. DUN DUN DUN!

I read The SockKids Say NO to Bullying for the review tour going on through August. My review went up Monday for the first day. Go check it out!

What do you think you’ll read next?

Review Tour Books   YAY! 🙂

TBR Jar Books 

The pre-TBR Jar list is getting shorter and shorter!

 How about you? What are you reading this week?

Leave a comment with your answers! Share the link to your WWW Wednesday post OR leave your answers in the comments if you don’t have a blog. Happy Reading! 🙂