Category Archives: Favorites

My Favorite Audiobooks

Audiobooks I recommend

Some of my best “reading” experiences were through an audiobook. I love listening to audiobooks when I’m in the car or doing housework or exercising.

Audiobooks add a whole new dimension to the reading experience because the reader can evoke more emotion through their voice. You can hear the anger, fear, sorrow, sarcasm, etc. in the narrators voice and sometimes it almost feels like you are right there with the characters.

I have read many audiobooks. I am very picky about the narrator’s voice and I will quit listening if I don’t love their voice and if I feel as though they are just reading the words and not acting out a character’s part.

Please comment and let us know what your favorite audiobook is!

The following list of audiobooks were my favorite and I highly, highly recommend:

harry potter audio book review blog blogger fantasyHarrpy Potter By J.K. Rowling

Narrated By Jim Dale

 

 

 

 

 

scorpio races maggie stiefvater book review blog

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Narrated by Steve West and Fiona Hardingham

 

 

 

deliDelirium by Lauren Oliver

Narrated by Sarah Drew

 

 

 

mary pearson adoration of jenna foxThe Adoration of Jenna Fox By Mary E. Pearson

Narrated by Jenna Lamia

 

 

 

the 5th wave rick yancey book review blogThe 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Narrated by Brandon Espinoza and Phoebe Strole

 

 

 

 

city of ember jeanne duprau book review blogCity of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

Narrated by Wendy Dillon

 

 

 

alan bradley book ya childrensThe Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Narrated by Jayne Entwistle

 

 

 

laini taylor book review blog ya young adultLips Touch Three Times By Laini Taylor

Narrated by Cassandra Campbell

 

 

 

these broken stars ya sci-fi novel

 

These Broken Stars By Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Narrated by Cynthia Holloway, Johnathan McClain, and Sarge Anton

 

 

 

 

Top 10 Books of 2016

My Top 10 Favorite Books of

2016!

These books weren’t necessarily published in 2016- just my favorite reads of 2016. I read about 35 books. These were my favorite of those 35.

ready player one adult novel

 

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I never expected to be so enthralled in a book about video games!

 

 

 

wonder ya novel palacio childrens

 

Woner by R.J. Palacio

Wonder is about how we treat people who look different. This was a very touching and a wonderful read. I would especially recommend to kids grade 3 and up.

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A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarh J. Maas

This variation of Beauty and the Beast was edgy, magical, and surprising with lots of twists and turns

 

 

left-to-tell

 

Left to tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust

                                         By Immaculee Ilibagiza

The Strength of Immaculee is so inspiring. She was able to find God while in the very worst of circumstances.

nightengale

 

 

The Nightingale By Kristin Hannah

This book about 2 sisters during WWII had me up all night reading. This has everything you could want in a book: Love, War, angst…

 

 

the rose garden susanna kearsley adult novel time travel

The Rose Garden By Susanna Kearsley

This time travel novel was so fun to read and hard to put down.

 

 

 

 

these broken stars ya sci-fi novel

 

 

These Broken Stars By Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner 

I listened to the audiobook and it was such a great experience.

 

 

scorpio races ya novel stiefvater favorite audiobook

 

 

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

I loved the main character, Puck. She was strong-willed and delightful. Her counterpart, Sean Kendrick was a steady, strong character too.

 

 

 

the-darkest-minds

 

 

The Darkest Minds By Alexandra Bracken

Post-apocalyptic novels are right up my alley. The Darkest minds did not disappoint. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment.

 

the-5th-wave

 

 

The 5th Wave By Rick Yancey

Alien invasion? Check. Love Triangle? Check. Surviving in a world that will never be what it was? Check. This book has all the ingredients for a great recipe!

Molly’s Top 10 Favorite YA Contemporary Novels

ya contemporary novels to read

Do you want to read a can’t-put-down, stay-up-all-night book? The following Young Adult Contemporaries are books I’ll never forget. They evoked strong emotion– whether light-hearted or serious. I highly recommend the following:

 

1. The Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard

ya-contempDescription from Amazon:

Colt and Julia were secretly together for a year, and no one ever knew, not even Julia’s boyfriend. Why would they-they were from two different crowds. Julia lived in her country club world and Colt . . . didn’t. Then Julia dies in a car accident. Colt is devastated but can’t mourn openly, and he’s tormented that he may have played a part in her death. And when Julia’s journal ends up in his hands, he is forced to relive their year together-just when he is trying to forget. The problem is, how do you get over someone who was never really yours to begin with?

The Secret Year on Amazon

 

2. Cracked Up to Be by Courtney Summers

ya-contemp3Description from Amazon:

Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, isn’t something she can say out loud. It isn’t even something she can say to herself. A horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault. If she can just remove herself from everybody – be totally alone – then everything will be okay…The problem is, nobody will let her.

Cracked Up to Be on Amazon

 

3. Looking for Alaska by John Green

yacontemp10Description from Amazon:

Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . . After. Nothing is ever the same.

Looking for Alaska on Amazon

4. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

ya-contemp5Description from Amazon:

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

If I Stay on Amazon

 

5. You Against Me by Jenny Downham

ya-contemp10Description from Amazon:

When Mikey’s sister claims a boy assaulted her, his world begins to fall apart. When Ellie’s brother is charged with the offense, her world begins to unravel. When Mikey and Ellie meet, two worlds collide.

This is a brave and unflinching novel from the bestselling author of Before I Die. It’s a book about loyalty and the choices that come with it. But above all, it’s a book about love.

You Against Me on Amazon

 

6. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Georgia Nicholson

yacontemp9Description from Amazon:

Angus:
My mixed-breed cat, half domestic tabby, half Scottish wildcat. The size of a small Labrador, only mad.

Thongs:
Stupid underwear. What’s the point of them, anyway? They just go up your bum, as far as I can tell.

Full-Frontal Snogging:
Kissing with all the trimmings, lip to lip, open mouth, tongues … everything.

Her dad’s got the mentality of a Teletubby (only not so developed). Her cat, Angus, is trying to eat the poodle next door. And her best friend thinks she looks like an alien — just because she accidentally shaved off her eyebrows. Ergghhhlack. Still, add a little boy-stalking, teacher-baiting, and full-frontal snogging with a Sex God, and Georgia’s year just might turn out to be the most fabbitty fab fab ever!

Buy Angus, Thongs, Etc. from Amazon

7. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

ya-contemp4Description from Amazon:

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Before I Fall on Amazon

 

8. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles

ya-contemp2Descrption on Amazon:

When Brittany Ellis walks into chemistry class on the first day of senior year, she has no clue that her carefully created “perfect” life is about to unravel before her eyes. She’s forced to be lab partners with Alex Fuentes, a gang member from the other side of town, and he is about to threaten everything she’s worked so hard for-her flawless reputation, her relationship with her boyfriend, and the secret that her home life is anything but perfect. Alex is a bad boy and he knows it. So when he makes a bet with his friends to lure Brittany into his life, he thinks nothing of it. But soon Alex realizes Brittany is a real person with real problems, and suddenly the bet he made in arrogance turns into something much more.

Perfect Chemistry on Amazon

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

the fault in our stars ya novel

Description on Amazon:

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

The Fault in Our Stars on Amazon

 

 

 

10. Sloppy Firsts by Megan Mccafferty

sloppy firsts ya contemporary novel book

Description from Amazon:

When her best friend, Hope Weaver, moves away from Pineville, New Jersey, hyperobservant sixteen-year-old Jessica Darling is devastated. A fish out of water at school and a stranger at home, Jessica feels more lost than ever now that the only person with whom she could really communicate has gone. How is she supposed to deal with the boy- and shopping-crazy girls at school, her dad’s obsession with her track meets, her mother salivating over big sister Bethany’s lavish wedding, and her nonexistent love life?

Sloppy Firsts on Amazon

Review: The Rose Garden By Susanna Kearsley

 

books to read review blog

Amazon Description: Eva returns to the only place that has ever felt like home, but she quickly discovers she is not alone in the old house on the Cornwall coast. The past reaches out to touch the present in this beautiful love story and haunting mystery.

 

My Review: The Rose Garden is a time-travel love story. It reminded me of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander. I preferred The Rose Garden over Gabaldon’s Outlander! Yes! Yes I did!

I loved the suspense of the heroine being transported between two time periods without her control. The romance was sweet and unpredictable.  The side characters were delightful and humorous.  The story is a little slow in the beginning but when it takes off, it is a delightful ride to the very last word.I would definitely recommend this to friends and give away as a gift.

 

Favorite Quotes:

  • “Tis never the place, but the people one shares it with who are the cause of our happiest memories.”

 

  • “Whatever time we have,” he said, “it will be time enough.

 My Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars!

five-star rating

ya books to read zombie

Top 5 Favorite Zombie Apocalypse Novels

My Top 5 Favorite Zombie books

     I’ve always had a sick fantasy of running for my life in a zombie apocalypse. These books put me right in my dream world. I love the suspense, the fear, and the navigation through a world that will never be what it once was.

Forest of Hands and Teeth By Carrie Ryan

This is the first of a trilogy

Buy on Amazon

Enclave (The Razorland Trilogy) By Ann Aguirre

Buy on Amazon

Rot and Ruin By Jonathan Maberry

Buy on Amazon

This Is Not a Test By Courtney Summers

Buy on Amazon


I am legend By Richard Matheson

Buy on Amazon

What are your favorite zombie books? I would love more recommendations!

Top 5 Favorite Classic Novels

5 Favorite Classic Novels

Who doesn’t love a classic? I love the artful language of those days. The good news is, most classic books are free in e-book format. These are some of my favorites….

Jane Eyre By Charlotte Bronte

Buy on Amazon

Rebecca By Daphne Du Maurier

Buy on Amazon

Persuasion By Jane Austen

Buy on Amazon

Gone with the Wind By Margaret Mitchell

Buy on Amazon


The Count of Monte Cristo By Alaxandre Dumas

Buy on Amazon

Book Club Favorites

book club reads fiction nonfictionIs your book club looking for the next good read? I love being part of a book club because it makes me stretch out of my literary comfort zone and try books I wouldn’t have otherwise read. The social interaction is fun and enlightening and the food that typically accompanies a meeting is always a bonus.

The following list of books are some of my favorites I read with my book club:

Ella Minnow Pea By Mark DunnElla Minnow Pea Mark Dunn Fiction book

Why I loved it: This quick read was fun and quirky. It had a unique  concept that can’t be found in any other books. Brilliant!

 

 

 

moloka'i historical novel fiction book clubMoloka’i by Alan Brennert

Why I loved it: I learned more about the leprosy colony in Kalaupapa, HI and I was engrossed in Rachel Kalama’s experiences– being ripped from her family and sent to Kalaupapa where she found love and friendship among the other lepers and caretakers.

 

 

poap joan historical fiction novelPope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross

Why I loved it: I hadn’t read any books that took place in the middle ages so that was a new experience for me (it was quite interesting to read about the religious heretics and the way women were treated by the men) and the discussion at book club was quite entertaining because we all had different beliefs about whether or not the story was true.

 

 

The thorn birds historical fiction novel

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Why I loved it: I have to admit that it was the taboo relationship between Meggie and Catholic priest, Ralph de Briccasart, that kept me reading this book till the wee hours of the morning to find out what would happen between them. This also led to a great discussion about Catholic priests and their vow of celibacy conflicting with human nature.

 

 

unbroken nonfiction historical wwii war bookUnbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Why I loved it: Hillenbrand is amazing at research and gathering data for her books. Learning about WWII aviation was nearly as fascinating to me as Louis Zamperini’s  story of survival and endurance–which is a story that will stay with you forever and can never be forgotten.

 

 

star-girlStar Girl by Jerry Spinelli

Why I loved it: Star Girl is an infectious character. She had me in awe throughout the entire book. My only regret is that I didn’t read this book in middle school.

 

 

 

cheaperCheaper by the Dozen By Frank B. Gilbreth and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey

Why I loved it: Don’t let the silly movie of the same name (and that’s all they have in common) keep you from reading this nonfiction book about how this quirky family of 14 lives their day-t0-day life. The eccentric father is an especially hilarious character.

 

 

a-thousand-splendid-sunsA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Why I loved it: Where do I start? Khaled Hosseini is one of my favorite authors because his writing is so beautiful and his stories pull at your heart strings. A Thousand Splendid Suns was engrossing and heartbreaking and unputdownable.

 

 

 

wonderWonder by R.J. Palacio Left to tell: discovering God amist the Rwandan holocaust

Why I loved it: My 6th grade daughter read this with me and it touched me that after finishing the book she broke into tears and asked me why anybody would treat a person differently just because of their looks. I loved the lessons she learned in this book and I know it will help her be more loving to those around her who are “different”. I highly recommend this book to middle schoolers.

 

Leftleft-to-tell to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwanda Holocaust by Immaculee Llibagiza

Why I loved it: The main lesson I learned from this book is that no matter what hell you are enduring for however long, you can find peace by turning to God and putting your trust in him. Your circumstances might not change but the way you feel and your outlook can change. This is an amazing, poignant story that I highly recommend to anyone.