Book Confession's Summer Reading Challenge

 IT'S TIME! Summer is here and I know all of you are ready for those summer reading challenges that are all over the internet. If you haven't picked a challenge yet, here is one that will keep you on your toes and plant your nose into all kinds of books. Make sure you check in to see what books I'm reading for the challenge. Enjoy!

1. True crime
2. A best seller from the year you graduated high school
3. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you
4. A book by a local author
5. A book that ties to your ancestry
6. Read a graphic novel or comic book
7. Read a book chosen by someone else
8. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
9. A book about a problem facing society today
10. Read a science fiction book
11. A book by two authors
12. A book with your favorite color in the title
13. A book about time travel
14. A book with a weather element in the title
15. A novel based on a real person
16. A book about a villain or anti-hero
17. A book made into a movie you've already seen.
18. A book with an ugly cover
19. A book set in the decade you were born in
20. A book about death or grief
21. A book that is also a stage play or a musical
22. Read a book of poetry
23. A book about science
24. A book by a female author who uses a male pseudonym
25. Read a book of your choice

I know this is a long list, but you got this. I'm working my way through it and its ok if you don't read all of the prompts by the end of the summer, just do your best. You can read them in order or pick and chose. You can also you one book for multiple prompts or only one if you want to challenge yourself. Lets see what we can read by the end of the summer. 

Book Review: A Knight In Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux

Title: A Knight in Shining Armor
By: Jude Deveraux
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 480
Release Date: July 1989

Summary from Goodreads: Once upon a time... a fair maiden lay weeping upon a cold tombstone, her heartfelt desire was suddenly made real before her: tall, broad of shoulder, attired in gleaming silver and gold, her knight in shining armor had come to rescue his damsel in distress....
A Knight in Shining Armor
Jude Deveraux's beloved bestseller has captivated readers the world over; now in a special edition featuring new material, this timeless love story greets a new generation. Abandoned by her lover, thoroughly modern Dougless Montgomery finds herself alone and brokenhearted in an old English church. She never dreamed that a love more powerful than time awaited her there...until Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, a sixteenth-century knight, appeared. Drawn to him by a bond so sudden and compelling that it defied reason, Dougless knew that Nicholas was nothing less than a miracle: a man who would not seek to change her, who found her perfect just as she was. But she could not know how strong were the chains that tied them to the past -- or the grand adventure that lay before them.

Review: I picked up this book to satisfy a summer reading challenge. I needed a book that was about my heritage, but I also needed a book that was about time travel. I was happily surprised when I found a book about both. English and time travel.

The way time travel was used in the book was really interesting. People go back and forth between times. Its not just one person going to another time and getting stuck there. These people have a job to do and once that job is done, they go home. It was a nice change from the whole Outlander type time travel. 

The characters almost made me mad thought. The main woman was sooo absorbed in her relationship that she made really bad mistakes. It was always about what people thought of her and the fact that she had to be with such an ass of a man, and of boy was he a bad egg. The main male character was very prissy and self absorbed. It made me wonder if people really acted like this in their perspective times. I guess that's the sign of a good character, they make you think, wonder and feel. 

The story was really enjoyable. It didn't take me long to read this book and I would recommend it to all of you if you want a wonderful tie traveling romance that is not Outlander and was in fact written before several decades before the Outlander series.  

Weekly Menu #305 And The Book Of The Week

Its always Monday. I feel like Monday is everyday now that the kids are out of school. Even my days off are Mondays. How has it come to this?

Last Sunday I won the weekly drawing at my local library for the summer reading program. I won a coffee mug, a copy of the Fantastic Beast book and a $5 Dutch Bros gift card. I'm super stoked since I love all of the above... Except for the coffee. I don't drink coffee. Any who, I'm looking forward to winning again... If I win again... But with the amount of books I read per week, my odds are amazing. Stay tuned for more winning.

This weeks book is going to be Crow Fall by Ed McDonald. Its the third installment in the Raven's Mark series and I have to say, this cover is absolutely stunning. I've been with this series since the beginning and I am excited to see what happens next. Who's with me?

This week's menu is not going to disappoint. I really hope you enjoy!







Leftovers Night

Book Review: The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Title: The Secret Life of Bees
By: Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: Historical Fiction
Pages: 302
Release Date: January 28th, 2003
Publisher: Penguin Books

Summary from Goodreads: Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted black "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

Review: When I first picked up this book is read like one of those books that told you how life was way back when, but didn't really have a story line. That changed around the halfway point. The story really came to life. We find out how Lily's path intertwined with the beekeeping sister long before she was born. This was the family that she was always wanting. The secret of her mothers death, the truth behind her fathers cold heart toward her. It was a touching, painful story that was wonderful to read.

Book Review: The Girl in Red by Christina Henry

Title: The Girl in Red
By: Christina Henry
Genre: Dystopian
Pages: 304
Release Date: June 18th, 2019
Publisher: Berkley

Summary from Goodreads: From the national bestselling author of Alice comes a postapocalyptic take on the perennial classic "Little Red Riding Hood"...about a woman who isn't as defenseless as she seems.

It's not safe for anyone alone in the woods. There are predators that come out at night: critters and coyotes, snakes and wolves. But the woman in the red jacket has no choice. Not since the Crisis came, decimated the population, and sent those who survived fleeing into quarantine camps that serve as breeding grounds for death, destruction, and disease. She is just a woman trying not to get killed in a world that doesn't look anything like the one she grew up in, the one that was perfectly sane and normal and boring until three months ago.

There are worse threats in the woods than the things that stalk their prey at night. Sometimes, there are men. Men with dark desires, weak wills, and evil intents. Men in uniform with classified information, deadly secrets, and unforgiving orders. And sometimes, just sometimes, there's something worse than all of the horrible people and vicious beasts combined. 

Red doesn't like to think of herself as a killer, but she isn't about to let herself get eaten up just because she is a woman alone in the woods....

Review: OMG, what just happened. I loved this book. This was really taking the classic red riding hood and morphing it into something so dark and amazing that I couldn't put it down. The characters were so colorful and unique. Red and her brother, both her parents, they all had a part to play and it was sad when we had to let some of them go. If you need a nice change in the usual, pick up this book, you won't regret it. 

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.


Monday! Its the first week of Summer break and the kids are already bored. Its going to be a long summer. I've been trying to get them more into reading when they are bored, or art or something other than vegging on the computer or tablets. We shall see how that goes.

This weeks book is going to be My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix. I have to read a book that is set in the decade that I was born in for my summer reading challenge at the library and this book looked interesting. So far, I'm not disappointed. The kids just did some acid. One stripped naked and jumped into a half full lake, before getting lost in the forest all night (still naked I might add). When they found her, she was in a creepy abandoned building. I'm wondering if that is where she becomes possessed... If you know, don't tell me. What are you reading this week? Leave your comments below.

This weeks menu is going to be delicious and easy, so enjoy!






Leftovers Night

Kid's Corner | Super Turbo Saves The Day

Its been a while since I've had a Kids Corner post. I've recently started to read to my two youngest boys before bed time. At first, they were reluctant. It took us almost two weeks to get through our first 10 chapter book. But now, we read several chapters a night and have been blasting through books like a fire cracker. Its almost a book a night. I can't keep up. There is a stack of books in my house at all times for us to read.

One of the boys favorite books was Super Turbo Saves The Day. It was a wonderful story about a classroom hamster who teams up with other classroom animals to chase off some rates who are trying to eat out of cafeteria. The boys loved it. They even helped me read and did the voices. There are a lot of characters that are fun and unique. If you have kids between the ages of 5 and 10, they will love this story!

Book Review: Finale by Stephanie Garber

Title: Finale
By: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 496
Release Date: May 7th, 2019
Publisher: Flatiron Books

Summary from Goodreads: Welcome, welcome to Finale, the third and final book in Stephanie Garber’s #1 New York Times bestselling Caraval series! 

A love worth fighting for. A dream worth dying for. An ending worth waiting for.

It’s been two months since the Fates were freed from a deck of cards, two months since Legend claimed the throne for his own, and two months since Tella discovered the boy she fell in love with doesn’t really exist.

With lives, empires, and hearts hanging in the balance, Tella must decide if she’s going to trust Legend or a former enemy. After uncovering a secret that upends her life, Scarlett will need to do the impossible. And Legend has a choice to make that will forever change and define him.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win, and those who will lose everything.

Welcome, welcome to Finale. All games must come to an end…

Review: Man, I love fantasy! This book is a wonderful ending to a fun and fantastical series. We follow our favorite characters as they wrap up the mystery around Caraval. Who will live and who will die. There is love and joy among the pain and sorrow. I couldn't have asked for a better ending. 


Monday! The last week of school. I can't believe it. Its been a long school year and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but we made it. I'm so proud of what the boys have accomplished.

This weeks read is going to be A Knight in Shinning Armor by Jude Deveraux. I've started my summer reading challenge this week and this is one of the first books I picked up. This will take care of the time travel and my heritage books in one swoop. Score!!

Here is this weeks menu, enjoy!







Leftovers Night

Dinner and a Book | If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Today I have a delicious meal for you and a good read to go along with it.

Try this Chicken with Pesto Thym Crema with crispy onions and asparagus. It was delicious. And if you get gluten free crispy onions, which were actually easy to find, then its a 100% gluten free dish. Lots of protein and a little carb. Veggies are there. What more can you ask for?

While you devour your delicious dinner, try reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman. This was a touching tale of one girl reason for survival and the choice to stay alive, when her parents and brother have tragically died in a car crash, or let go and die as well. What does she have to live for?... Only the boy she loves. Is that enough?  

May 2019 Wrap Up

Its June! The half way mark of the year and more wonderful reads that I am excited to share with you. What have you been reading this last month?

Memoirs of a Geisha - A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel tells with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Speaking to us with the wisdom of age and in a voice at once haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri tells the story of her life as a geisha. It begins in a poor fishing village in 1929, when, as a nine-year-old girl with unusual blue-gray eyes, she is taken from her home and sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. We witness her transformation as she learns the rigorous arts of the geisha: dance and music; wearing kimono, elaborate makeup, and hair; pouring sake to reveal just a touch of inner wrist; competing with a jealous rival for men's solicitude and the money that goes with it. 

In Memoirs of a Geisha, we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction—at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful—and completely unforgettable.

The Great Alone - Alaska, 1974.

Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed.
For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival.

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown.

At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources.

But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves.

In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.

My Father's Dragon - Elmer Elevator (narrator's father as a boy) runs away with an old alley cat to rescue a flying baby dragon being exploited on a faraway island. With the help of two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, and a fine-toothed comb, Elmer disarms the fiercest of beasts on Wild Island.