What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #281

Last Monday of the year. Last day of the year. I can't believe 2018 is over. Its been one hell of a ride. Frankly, I'm glad this year is over. I'm ready for a new year with new challenges. Yes...

I actually read something this week, but I didn't finish it. Christmas got in the way, but that's life. Hopefully I should have it done within a day or two and then I will post a review for you all, but for now, here is another book for you to read this week.

I'm working on a Breath of Snow and Ashes from the Outlander series. These books take me forever to read because they are so large and full of a lot of filler. I get bogged down and put the book down for a while, then pick it back up and make my way through them. Don't get me wrong, They are heavy, but I love them all the same. Diana Gabaldon has said recently that she is writing two more books in the Outlander series and I'm super excited about it. Since I've never actually finished a series, at least not that I can remember, I'm hoping to finish this one.

This weeks menu is going to be amazing. Enjoy!






Leftovers Night

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #280

Merry Christmas Eve!!! I can't believe it is here already. This year has gone so fast and next year is looking promising. We had a crazy week, and surprisingly I didn't actually finish a book. Work was crazy, home was crazy and nothing really happened. That's a first.

Well, I'm not sure if I'm going to get any reading done this week either, but here is the book I'm planning on diving into. The Outsiders by Stephen King. Its one of the best books of 2018 on Goodreads and one of the first books I'm going to read from the list. I'm not a huge horror fan, but Stephen King is an amazing author no matter what he does, so here's to being scared shitless on Christmas. 

Alright then, on to this weeks menu. Enjoy!

- Christmas Eve with the In-Laws






Leftovers Night

Books to Movies | The Golden Compass

I just finished reading The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman and it was one of my favorite books I've read this year. Since this book has been made into a movie, I decided it was a good time to watch it since the story was fresh in my mind. What was I thinking? I can see why the movies never took off. Sadness...

All the good parts of the book were jam packed into the movie, but all the good parts don't do you any good without the nitty gritty. You need all that dirt to give background to the story, without it, its dead and bland. If I hadn't already read the book, I would have never understood the movie. My poor husband was completely lost. At several points in the movie, I had to give him back story that wasn't included, just so he could keep up.

And lets not forget the ending. The book left you on a cliffhanger, but it was a wrapped up, neat little package that left you feeling fulfilled, but wanting more. The movie on the other hand cut the story short and left you wondering what the hell happened to one of the key characters. And to make it  worse, there was never a second movie to answer those unanswered questions that left you hanging for no reason. 

The characters should have been the main focus, but they all seemed shallow and random. Its was like, here is one guy and he randomly introduces the main little girl to some other guy whom she automatically trusts without any context. OMG, there is a big bear and.. guess what?... he pledges his life to the little girl for no reason... It was so wrong. 

I think that there was too much in the book that it couldn't all fit into the movie without missing something. That or, the writer/director was way over his head and should have left this book alone.  

Book, five stars, movie two stars. If you are going to watch the movie, read the book first. You will know whats going on a whole lot better.

Best Books of 2018 | I am Enough by Grace Byers

Moving along on my Best Books of 2018 voted by all you wonderful readers on Goodreads. I'm excited to share this next one with you. Its simple, wonderful and I loved it. Yes, I know its a picture book but can't I be excited about something different for once?

Title: I am Enough
By: Grace Byers
Genre: Picture Book
Pages: 32
Release Date: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Summary from Goodreads: I Am Enough is the picture book everyone needs

This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.

This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.

We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.

Review: Oh, wow. I really didn't think this book was going to give me the feels. I mean, come on, its a picture book for crying out loud. I really loved the rhyming. It wasn't too much, but just enough. The story itself was a wonderful uplifting tale for all children and adults alike and I loved the art, it was wonderful. I can definitely see why this book won the Best Book of 2018 Picture Book category.


What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #279

Hey hey Monday! There are only 8 days until Christmas. How did we get here so fast. This whole year has gone quickly and I don't think I'm ready for 2019. The boys will be another year older, things are looking up in our lives, but we know all too quickly how fast that can change. I guess that's what scares me. The unknown.... I got this...

Last weeks book The Golden Compass has got to be one of the best books I've read this year. I can't believe it took me this long to read. Have you read it? What are your thoughts?

This weeks book will be a review book that I picked up from the publisher. The Beast's Heart by Leife Shallcross. A retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I do love retellings as long as they are done right. If not, this could be a disaster. Stay tuned to find out. 

Make sure you check out this weeks menu. It is going to be delicious. Enjoy!







Leftovers Night

Goodreads Best Books of 2018

Have you all seen the winners of the Goodreads Best Books of 2018? The list looks amazing. If you want to check it out, Click here.

I really haven't read any of the books on this list, and to tell you the truth, I haven't even heard of some of them, but I've made an early new years resolution to read the entire winners list... I've already started...

Last week I picked up Herding Cats By Sarah Scribbles. It won best Graphic Novel. How did I not know about this book? It was hilarious. The book is a collection of one page short comics that are to die for. The author has a unique sense of humor and she portrays it well in her drawings. The art its self seems simple, but really, it is very interesting. I laughed and cried with this book and I think I'll purchase a copy for my dinning room table.

I will encourage you all to read all the winners with me and check out the other nominees in the Best Graphic Novel or Comic category

Crazily Rich | Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Title: Crazy Rich Asians
By: Kevin Kwan
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Pages: 546
Release Date: June 11th, 2013
Publisher: Doubleday

Summary from Goodreads: Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazilyrich.

Review: I'm not a huge contemporary fan, but this book was a fun roller coaster of craziness. The whole story is based on a rich family in Singapore who use their money as a status symbol and refuse to see things any other way. So, of course, when their son brings home and American girl with no money, they find anyway they possibly can to sabotage their relationship, and for a moment, it might just work. 

Of course, I loved the absurdity of it all. The characters were so shallow most the time that you just wanted to slap them and push them down in the mud. This could have gone horribly wrong for the writer, but it didn't. It really made the story more wonderful, or I guess you could say, terribly, but in a good way.

Toward the end of the book, I couldn't put it down. You want their relationship to work, no matter what bad things come to light. You want them to be together because they love each other so much, but can they overcome the truth? 

There wasn't much I can say bad about this book. I really enjoyed it and I'm looking forward to watching the movie. 

What I'm Reading This Week | #WeeklyMenu Week #278

Monday? When did you get here? It was a rough week. My middle son is having some issues with his ADHD and we are needing to change some things around. Its going to be rough figuring out what is going to work and what won't, but this is what needs to happen. That poor kid, he just cant seem to get a break.

Last week, it took me forever to finish a single book. It was a great book, but I just couldn't find the time to read it. The time I usually spend reading (aka listening at lightning speed) was spent covering for a coworker that will be out on medical leave for eight weeks. That's six more weeks of not really being able to get any reading done. Oh well, I already hit my reading goal for the year, which by the way was apparently too small. Next year, I'm going to have to shoot for 300 books, because I smashed 200.

Since I finally finished Crazy Rich Asians, which was awesome, this week I'm going to pick up The Golden Compass which happen to be the oldest book on my Goodreads TBR pile. There is no reason it has taken me this long to read this book, but the fact that there was always something else I wanted to read more. I've decided that in 2019, I'm going to start picking off more books on my TBR pile, starting with the oldest ones. I'm also going to read the entire 2018 Goodreads awards winner list. Its a large undertaking, but I'm ready for it. Who's with me?

Well, now that that's done, lets get to this weeks menu. Enjoy!







Leftovers Night

5 Books I'm Excited to Read in 2019

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

This book looks awesome. I love a good story about a king that must rebuild his kingdom, but of course magic is involved. Magic makes everything better.

The Winds of Winter is the forthcoming sixth novel in the epic fantasy series A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin.

The previous installment, A Dance with Dragons, covered less story than Martin intended, omitting at least one planned large battle sequence and leaving several character threads ending in cliffhangers. Martin intends to resolve these cliffhangers "very early" in The Winds of Winter, saying "I'm going to open with the two big battles that I was building up to, the battle in the ice and the battle at Meereen—the battle of Slaver's Bay. And then take it from there."

Any epic fantasy lover should be excited about this. How long have we waited? How long must we keep waiting? Its going to be torture trying to hold in the anticipation. Who's with me?

In this new instalment in the No. 1 New York Times bestselling series, Mercy Thompson must face a deadly enemy to defend all she loves . . . 

My name is Mercedes Athena Thompson Hauptman, and I am a car mechanic.
And a coyote shapeshifter . . . And the mate of the Alpha of the Columbia Basin werewolf pack.
Even so, none of that would have gotten me into trouble if, a few months ago, I hadn't stood upon a bridge and taken responsibility for the safety of the citizens who lived in our territory. It seemed like the thing to do at the time. It should have only involved hunting down killer goblins, zombie goats, and an occasional troll. Instead, our home was viewed as neutral ground, a place where humans would feel safe to come and treat with the fae.
The reality is that nothing and no one is safe. As generals and politicians face off with the Gray Lords of the fae, a storm is coming and her name is Death.
But we are pack, and we have given our word. We will die to keep it.
Will this series never end? I sure hope not. I'm always intrigued when a new Mery Thompson Book comes out. I loved the last one and I'm excited to read this one.
In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic.
Yep, here it is. We don't have long to wait now. I managed to get my hands on an e-galley for this one and I loved it. I'm really wanting to get my hands on a physical copy to add to my book shelf. Look how gorgeous this cover is. 

Fans of Susan Dennard's New York Times bestselling Witchlands series have fallen in love with the Bloodwitch Aeduan. And now, finally, comes his story.

High in a snowy mountain range, a monastery that holds more than just faith clings to the side of a cliff. Below, thwarted by a lake, a bloodthirsty horde of raiders await the coming of winter and the frozen path to destroy the sanctuary and its secrets.

The Bloodwitch Aeduan has teamed up with the Threadwitch Iseult and the magical girl Owl to stop the destruction. But to do so, he must confront his own father, and his past.
YES! Every book in this series gets better and better. What can this new story bring? Will I love it as much as the last. I think I might. 
These are just a few books coming in 2019 that I'm excited to read. There are so many though, it was hard to choose, and of course, the publishers are adding more and more as time goes on. What books are you excited to read next year?

November 2018 Wrap Up

I can't believe November is already over. I probably say the same thing every month, but it just seems like this year is flying by and I can't stop it. I decided to start reading a lot of the books on the Goodreads choice awards for 2018. I'm starting with the children and poem books and working my way through the list. I'm hoping to have the whole list read by the time the 2019 awards come around. 

I spotlighted some of my favorite reads this month, so make sure you keep your eyes on those ones.

Lets get on to Novembers awesome reads.

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, soon to be a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Over 5 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

Blue de la Cour has her life planned: hide the magic in her blood and continue trying to turn metal into gold so she can help her city’s homeless. But when her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her—and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan.

Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata, is walking a thin line between political success and devastating violence. Newly returned from boarding school, he must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal—but escalating tension among the families makes the search nearly impossible. He’s surprised to discover that the one person who makes him feel like he can breathe is Blue, the girl who once ruined all his best adventures.

When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together to find the truth. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts. When romance is forbidden and evil is rising, can Blue save those she loves, even if it costs her everything? 

This book is about Bear... so what happens when he doesn't show up on his page? Who will find him? Will it be Giraffe, who himself seems to always be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or Cow, or perhaps even the author herself?

One thing's for sure--it probably won't be Duck. Duck doesn't seem concerned that Bear is missing. In fact, he seems to be trying to steal the show for himself! Duck would much prefer that the reader pick up his own book, The Duck Who Showed Up. He even disguises himself as Bear in an attempt to fool the reader. But after pages and pages of Duck's antics and search-party chaos, Bear appears somewhere utterly unexpected. In fact, it looks like someone may have tried to get rid of him on purpose....

LeUyen Pham's The Bear Who Wasn't There takes readers a hilarious search for the missing title character. 

In the stunning conclusion to the bestselling Winternight Trilogy, following The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower, Vasya returns to save Russia and the spirit realm, battling enemies both mortal and magic.

As the last child in a family of daughters, seventeen-year-old Janneke was raised to be the male heir. While her sisters were becoming wives and mothers, she was taught to hunt, track, and fight. On the day her village was burned to the ground, Janneke—as the only survivor—was taken captive by the malicious Lydian and eventually sent to work for his nephew Soren.

Janneke’s survival in the court of merciless monsters has come at the cost of her connection to the human world. And when the Goblin King’s death ignites an ancient hunt for the next king, Soren senses an opportunity for her to finally fully accept the ways of the brutal Permafrost. But every action he takes to bring her deeper into his world only shows him that a little humanity isn’t bad—especially when it comes to those you care about.

Through every battle they survive, Janneke’s loyalty to Soren deepens. After dangerous truths are revealed, Janneke must choose between holding on or letting go of her last connections to a world she no longer belongs to. She must make the right choice to save the only thing keeping both worlds from crumbling.

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.