Posted by: Genny Colby | February 7, 2014

What I am Reading Friday…

A slow week, and with the Olympics starting this weekend, probably another slow week ahead.  Who knew that snow boarding could be so cool to watch???

This week I finished The Returned by Jason Mott.  This is the first in a proposed trilogy and the basis for a new television series.  What happens when those that have died, return?  Not as zombies, or the undead, but as living, breathing, thinking, feeling beings, the same as when the passed away?  At the heart of this book, it is a story about people, how they react to events, how they find answers to tough questions, how they deal with tragedy.  At the core, every character has lost someone they love and has had to deal with the death.  Everyone handles death in different ways so how the handle the return of loved one is different.

There are so many questions…Why do they return?  How do they return?  Why do some return and not others?  What does it all  mean?  And where do they go when they “disappear” again?  This book honestly does not answer any of these questions, but allows each of the different characters to seek their own answers about what these “Returned” mean to them.

Set in the small town of Arcadia, a town time and the rest of the world has forgotten, we meet Harold and Lucille,  an elderly couple who lost their only son back in 1966.  Then one day, he appears on their doorstep.  Both Harold and Lucille have to decide what this means to them, who is this boy, and why has he been returned to them now?  At the same time, the rest of the world is struggling with those same questions, as well as what to do with this population that is growing each day?

This is an interesting look at people and how they react to death and life.  The characters are interesting enough, if not slightly 2-dimensional.  I felt that this book left a lot of questions unanswered…did anyone check the graves of those returned to see if they were empty?  Was everyone who returned buried or had any of them been cremated? (I know, rather morbid and disturbing ideas but we are talking about people who were dead..)   It also seemed that after the confrontation in Arcadia, the governments just quietly backed away from the whole thing.  Why?  Because the returned started to fade away on their own?  The government also seemed less concerned with WHY this was happening and more about “what did these people remember about being dead” which had a much more “churchy” feel to it than I would expect from the government.   Maybe some of these questions will be addressed in coming books.

Overall, this is a decent book, different from other books out there, with a theme that makes you stop and think.   The writing is fine, nothing awe-inspiring, but nothing glaring awful either!  It’s not a complex book, though it certainly has the chance to go that direction.  It is not overly religious, though obviously religion and one’s own beliefs are a part of the story.  This book felt like a teaser…this is the world I am creating…just tip your toes in and get a feel for it…because then we are really going to shake things up.  At least I hope that is what is going to happen!

I am still making my way through Parenting Beyond Belief  and after this weeks Creation vs Evolution debate and subsequent articles, this book is really resonating more with me about our family and the values and morals and ideals with which we hope to instill in our children.

Since I finished my fiction book, I was excited to pick up The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I am hoping it is as amazing of a book as everyone has raved and that it is in fact a “can’t put this book down” kind of book for me.  I am really in need of one of those!

So…what are you reading this week, or will you be spending most of your time watching the Olympics?  I can’t wait to show the Monkey the bobsled competitions!

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 31, 2014

What I am Reading Friday…

ah, I love books, I love to read, and I love when the library sends me a message that says I have books to pick up!

This week I finished Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.  What an interesting book.  Ursula Todd has an unusual life.  As she grows, she dies multiple times, each time her life starts anew and we see the different paths as different choices are made, how does she change the world around her, the people around her, and how do they change her.  By her early teens, after experiencing multiple “deaths” and rebirths, we see that she starts to develop a sense of things to come, to have visions of events and people who have yet to appear in her life and to make changes to try to change certain events.  The book description would have you believe that the fate of the world may in fact rest with this one young woman.  She does, on certain timelines, make may drastic changes to the course of events, but really I found the book less about the effects her choices had on the world at large, and more on how effected her, and those lives she personally touched.

This is not the kind of book you can just pick up one Saturday afternoon and read through in a couple of hours, at least for me and I am a speedy reader!  This is a book that takes time to follow the changing time line, keep track of the characters that come and go through the different time lines, and to really stop and think about what kind of life it must be to have these feelings about things to come and to try to change the course of history/destiny.  It is a very different book from others I have read and while the WWII era is not my favorite, I found this to be a very engaging, thought-provoking, and well written book.  Definitely one I would recommend giving a chance.

This week I started two new books.  One a non-fiction/parenting book, and  the other a fiction/fantasy book.

The first is Raising Freethinkers:A Practical Guide for Parenting Beyond Belief by Dale McGowan, Molleen, Amanda Meskas, and Jan Devor.  As spiritual, but non-religious people, the challenge is how to raise our children to respect others ideas and beliefs, but that it is okay to ask questions, to seek out their own answers, and that find their own beliefs/ideas about the world, and about religion.   We do teach ABOUT religion, but we don’t promote, practice, or enforce a belief in any one religion.  This book is very accessible to any reader.  It takes a “question and answer” approach, where they present a question and then the answer, giving real life examples.  I am finding this book to be very interesting.  As a family who are trying to raise strong, independent, confident, free thinking children, this book seems to be a good fit for our family.

I also started a fiction/fantasy/fun book for reading before bed, when I just want a little escape time.  This week I picked up The Returned by Jason Mott (soon to be a TV series!).  I actually have had this on my to read list for a while, after reading a review somewhere, but with all the info about the TV series coming out, I thought I would see if it was available without a long wait at the library.  An interesting idea…those that have died are returning.  And when they return, they return as they were at the time of their death.  The first family we really meet are an older couple who lost their son in 1966 at the age of eight in a tragic accident.  I am sure there will be others that we will meet as the story progress.  Why have they returned?  Who or what are they? What happens now to our beliefs about life and death?  This is the first of a proposed trilogy, and of course, the base for an upcoming TV series.  Not sure I will check out the TV series as I was so underwhelmed by the offering of Under the Dome this past summer…but so far I am enjoying the book.  I like books that just jump right in and fill you in about what is going on along the way, allowing the reader to connect with the characters rather than just the concept of the first page.

So, what are you reading on this cold, snowy weekend?

photo from –

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 26, 2014

Do You Believe in Magic…

Childhood really is all about magic.  We teach our kids to look for shapes in the clouds.  That fairies are real.  To wish on a shooting star.  That super heroes exist. To look inside their minds and see what they can create – stories, games, imaginary friends.  Many of us teach them about Santa Clause, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny.  We teach them about four-leaf clovers and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow and leprechauns.  We teach them find joy and magic and wonder in the world around them.  Then they grow up and somehow that magic is lost.  Why? When?   How?  Do we have to become so jaded that even if we KNOW these things don’t exists, we can’t still find joy and wonder and magic in the idea that once they did for us?

Today my daughter asked me if movies are real.  We told her, yes, some movies are real.  Then she asked if the Princesses were real.  I asked her if she thought they were real…her answer?  “Yes, they are real because we got to meet them at Disney!”  Yep, could not ask for a better answer!

I really hope we can keep the magic alive for a long long time!  And then we can relive the magic through our kids.



Posted by: Genny Colby | January 25, 2014

Decisions, Decisions, Decisions….

Some days being a parent looked a lot easier from the side of “kid”!   As many of you know, we have been on the “home school” path since our daughter was about 2.  We have done preschool, pre-k, and now Kindergarten at home for a variety of reasons, including a birthday that does not meets the cut off date, but a child who is ready for more.    As a teacher I believe that young kids learn through the play, hands on, interactive experiences and that is what we have tried to provide.  This year we took on a more “formal” approach with it being Kindergarten, but still tried to make it fun, relaxed, hands on as much as possible, and to follow our daughter’s lead.  This has been a new learning experience for me, moving from “mommy” to “teacher” and trying to break my “classroom teacher” mindset and teaching style.  We have had our bumps along the way, I see where I can and need to make changes if this is the path we continue on, but over all it has been fun for all of us.

As she is now of “official” kindergarten age, we have to decide, should we continue homeschooling or do we look at a more traditional brick and mortar school.  There are pros and cons to each, but really we are working to decide what is the best learning environment for our daughter, what is best for our son, and what is best for our family.  Can I just say…this part is a whole lot harder than when we were kids!  First, homeschooling was not a mainstream option and to be honest I don’t think my parents even considered it…you sent kids to school when they turned 5, period.  The choice then became private (parochial) or your neighborhood public school.  There may have been a few other private school options, depending on where you lived, but there were no Charter Schools, Talented and Gifted Schools, STEM Schools, etc.

Now, I am not saying that having all these options is a bad thing, because education is not a “one size fits all” type of deal.  But sometimes I wonder if we are doing our kids a service or not having so many different options…and sure makes it more difficult for the parents.   Where we live, there is also “open enrollment” which basically means that you can apply to send your child to pretty much any school in the state…regardless of what district you are in, or which is your “home” school.  There is not promise to get in to any school, that all depends on a variety of factors that vary from school to school, but you can apply!

So…where to apply?  Do we apply?  We do know that we don’t want to send our daughter (and eventually son) to school just to send her to school.  Neither of us are feeling the love for our “home” or neighborhood school, especially since homeschooling is such a strong pull for us.  We have looked at a lot of different schools and the answer while not 100% clear yet, is coming into focus.

Another draw for us for homeschooling is that EDUCATION is the focus.  Developing a life long love of learning.   Finding out what interests our children and using those as a guide for our lessons.  Schools today, through not fault of their own, as so focused on test scores, and rankings, and performance assessments that the idea of learning to learn is really lost.  Yes, there are basics she needs to learn (reading, writing, math, basic science principles, history and its relevance to today), but there are so many ways to get there, and the journey is matter most.  Education should be about the PROCESS, not the end PRODUCT (test result).

But I worry about homeschooling…will she get the social interaction she needs?  Will she learn to function as part of a group, a piece of the whole as she will need to know to move into the “real” world?  Will she learn to focus her attention and follow directions when not given to her by her parents?  I don’t really worry about the academic parts, as honestly, I can do those.  And if I am stuck there are a million and one resources online from free content, to purchased curriculum and books, to online schooling. Finding that balance between creating the best learning environment for our children that will instill the love of learning and allow them to find their own path through education with the social and societal skills needed for when she grows up.

There is no one clear-cut answer…and the answer is different for each child, for each family.  The answer may also change over time. What is the best option in kindergarten may not be the same when she’s in fifth, or ninth grade.  All we can do is find the right one for right now.  Today, that is strongly looking to staying on the home school path, though we are keeping a few other options open right now.   And since our daughter is saying she wants to keep going to school at home with mommy and daddy and her brother…well that is a strong vote in the home school column!

I know that it will all work out in the end, and that no matter what choice we make for next year, we have the option to change our minds, try something else at any point.  We are not locked into any kind of contract..other than we WILL educate our children, we will instill in them a love of learning, life, and the world around them.

But I will say…our parents sure had it easy!

(image from here)

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 24, 2014

What I am Reading Friday…

this has been a slow week as I am making my way through Life After Life  by Kate Atkinson.  We are reading this one for our first book in our new book club…and I am glad that I have given myself time to read it.  It is not a book I can just whip through.  This book takes time and thought as Ms Atkinson weaves her story of a young girl, Ursula Todd, as you the reader see all the different strands of her life.  In one, she dies at birth.  In others, during childhood.  In yet others, adulthood.  Yet somehow these are all connected, and as Ursula begins to develop a sense of deja vu, or a sixth sense of the events to come and starts to influence the outcome of those more pivotal moments.

I am only about 220 pages into this just over 500 page book.  I am finally getting the rhythm of the story and the author’s writing style and I am really enjoying the book!  But, this is not your typical weekend read.  This is book that makes you think, pay attention, and you really become invested in the character and those in her life.  It makes you wonder “what would have happened if…” as we realizes how life is really just one big game of chance.  Roll the dice, see what happens, and what new adventures unfold.

I just really need to find a good chunk of time without interruption to just lose myself in this book.  And I can’t wait until I can…

What are you reading this weekend?

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 21, 2014

10 Things I Learned…

…planning a magical Disney World Vacation.  After a year of planning, we had the most magical Walt Disney World Vacation!  I can’t believe we pulled it off!  Now I find myself wanting to plan another one…but the next big vacation like that is a few years away…


Until then, I thought I would share with you, in no particular order, the top 10 things I learned while planning and enjoying this vacation.

#1-…work with a good Disney travel agent.  I know that people plan their own Disney vacations every year, but working with an agent made everything SO easy.  I used Glass Slipper Concierge.  I was randomly assigned an agent, Trish Mitchell, who turned out to be AMAZING!  I had a pretty good idea when I made contact of the basics that I wanted, she was able to take my thoughts and put together options for me.  She showed me a variety of hotel options, discussing the pros/cons of each.  She had wonderful suggestions about dinning options, how to get the most of our time, special events (like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party) and other hidden secrets.  She was available for questions and help from our first contact, through our trip.  And it turned out she was on vacation at Disney at the same time, yet she answered every message I sent, helped us make changes as needed, and just checked in to be sure that we were having a great time.  She also went above and beyond…making sure my daughter got a birthday call from Mickey and Minnie, noting on one of our dining reservations it was a birthday trip so my daughter got a special birthday cupcake.  But beyond that, it took so much of the details out of my hands.  With Disney, you can make (and really SHOULD) make any dining and special event reservations 180 days prior to your trip.  I didn’t have to make sure I was ready, on the date, to call.  She took care of all of it, was able to make adjustments as necessary, and made sure we had everything we wanted, there was no overlap or tight time frames.  Our next Disney trip…and yes I am already starting to think about that one…I will go back to Trish!

#2-Character Meals.  Do these, as many as you can.  Not only is the food AMAZING, but it is great way to meet the characters and not have to stand in LONG LONG LONG lines in the park, taking away from your time to ride the rides and see the shows.  Character meals are great as each character comes to your table, will sign autographs, and pose for pictures.  It is a more intimate time then you get when you see characters in the park  since they are at your table, and there are not 100+ people pushing behind you for their turn.

#3-Stay on property.  I have never stayed on property before and I don’t think I will ever stay OFF property again!  It is so convenient!  By staying on site, you get the daily “Magic Hours” where the park is open early or late for resort guests.  You can just hop on the monorail or bus and go to what ever park you want.  If you need a break in the middle of the day  you can head back to your hotel, take a rest, hit the pool, go for a walk, go to the arcade, and then head back to the park later in the day.

#4-Fast Passes-USE them!  We were part of a test group this time with the new “Magic Bands” program (wrist band that you use for your hotel key, dining plan, you can use to shop, and it is used for your park tickets and fast passes too).  With the new Magic Bands, you can access your Magic Band online and set up your fast passes before you even arrive in the park.  This was nice as I was able to set up some of the “must dos” for our young kids.  But you can also add/change things once you are in the park.  And be sure to check some of the more popular rides like Splash Mountain and Space Mountain early in the morning or later in the evening.  Then you can either set up a later Fast Pass to go again, or use your Fast Pass for another ride later in the day.  BUT you only get 3 Fast Passes per day and they are only good in 1 park per day.   I am hoping that Disney reconsiders this…as they promote the park hoppper pass and if you can only use Fast Passes at one park per day…kind of discourages that a bit.  But it is so nice to go through the Fast Pass line and skip the 40+ min wait on a ride you and your kiddos really want to do!

#5-Park Hopper Pass-pay the extra and upgrade your tickets to the park hopper.  Really.  While you may plan one park per day (we did) we also liked the idea we could go to any park any day we wanted.  We stayed at the Contemporary…a walk or short monorail ride to the Magic Kingdom and we went there every day but one, even for a couple of hours at the end of the day.  Next trip when our youngest is a bit older, I think we would use this even more as we didn’t focus on any of the shows or parades or light displays this time and  I think we will next time.

#6-Dining Plan-this one is a little more by personal choice.  Personally, I liked that we had already paid for all our food (we went with the Deluxe Plan that gave us 3 meals and 2 snacks per day per person).  It provided us the chance to not worry about where we were eating, what we wanted to eat, and it was already budgeted and paid for in our package.  And with the Magic Band, we just scanned it and added the tip when we did a sit down meal.  Since we had at least one character experience meal 6 out of the 8 days we were there…I think it was worth it.  You may also score a “free dining plan” if your trip dates fall into one of their specials.  BUT that said, there is some thought about the cost of the plan(s) vs how much you are likely to spend if you paid a la cart for meals.  We just found the convenience worth the price.

#7-Plan an “extra” day for some down time.  This was a tip I read on a number of different Disney planning blogs (and recommended by our agent when I asked her about it).  It allows you to slow down and enjoy some of the other extras that Disney offers when staying on site.  You can swim in the pools, play in the arcades, checkout Downtown Disney, walk along the beach, take a nap, and just recharge your batteries.  It also provided us the comfort to know we really did have time to do everything we wanted to do this trip and not feel like we were rushing all the time.

#8-Pick an “off time” to travel.  If you can, try not to go during the big “school break” times like the two weeks at Christmas, or Spring Break.  We went in early December and while there were still tons of people, it was not as crazy as when we’ve gone during the Christmas break or even early summer.

#9-Get to your reservations a few minutes early.  You will still wait…but they won’t seat you until your whole party is present and if you check in 5-10 min prior to your reservation, your wait time will bring you pretty close to your reservation time.  And if you want one of the character experience meals, make a reservation!  All the restaurants will take walk ins, but you will wait.  One wait I heard was almost 90 min…and your whole party has to be there…so you’re trying to keep your excited kids contained just for a meal…the shorter you to wait the better in my opinion.

#10-Let it all go and have fun!  Don’t worry about who is eating what, how late everyone stays up, try to say “yes” to yourself and your family as much as possible (and staying within your budget!)   For most of us, this is a once or twice in a lifetime trip.  Make the most of it, focus on making memories and just taking the time to enjoy being with your family.  Let the phone calls go to voice mail and the emails wait until you have a few minutes back in your room at the end of the day.  Take a million pictures, laugh and smile and enjoy those moments with your family.  Take a million pictures, be silly, hold hands, and look at the world through eyes of your kids.


Now to start saving our pennies for the next Disney Vacation!

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 17, 2014

What I’m Reading Friday…

3 weeks into the new year and I’ve already missed one week, but as much as I hate to admit this…last week I didn’t actually READ anything to write about here.  But this week, I finished 2 books!!!  Having a sick kid who just wants to sit and snuggle led to some extra reading time for this momma.  

The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Chronicles of Kazam, #2)

This week I finished The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde.  I love this man’s writing!  If you have not read his Thursday Next series…stop what you are reading now and go pick it up!  I promise you that you will find yourself drawn into his mixed up world and you won’t want to leave…ever!  But back to this book…this is the second in the series, and his first into the “Young Adult” genre.  

You can a much better description that I can give you here on  Goodreads

I enjoyed this book, but to be honest it was missing the “spark” of his other books.  Honestly, I think this is because he was trying to make his widely imaginative worlds more accessible to a younger reader.  It’s not that he is “dumbing” the books or his stories down, he is still writing with great detail and whimsy, but the book was just lacking some of the depth, some of the humor, some of the layers of his other writing.  I missed that, though it has added all his books back to my “to re-read this year” list!  I will read the third and final book when it comes out this spring, though I will admit that this is not a series I will run back to read again.  Though, as soon as my kids are ready, this is a series that I will bring out for them to read to introduce them to the magical worlds that Mr Fforde creates.  

Hidden (Firelight, #3)

The other book I finished was the third book in the Firelight Series by Sophie Jordan.  This was a series I started on a whim a few years back when I was looking for something different from vampires and were wolves, but still in the paranormal genre.  It is an interesting series dealing with dragons and hunters, or draki as the dragons refer to themselves.  Hidden is the final chapter of the story of Jacinda, a rare fire breathing draki who is forced to bond with the son (Cassian) of her pride’s leader, while falling in love with Will, who turns out to be a Hunter.   In this final book, Jacinda allows herself to be captured in order to rescue Cassian’s sister Miriam.  The capture and rescue occur pretty early in the book and the remaining 3/4’s deal with the tale of getting everyone, including a very dangerous draki who was also in captivity, back to the pride, solving the mystery of what really happened to Jacinda’s father, and Jacinda’s conflicting emotions involving Cassian and Will.  I will say, the story was fairly predictable, there were not really any wild twits and turns, there were story lines that seemed to come in suddenly then are as quickly dropped.  That is not to say I didn’t enjoy the book, but it really did not take a lot of thought or concentration.  The reader, if paying attention, could see where the story was going fairly early, and the big “twist” was not really all that shocking.  It was a satisfying if cookie cutter finale to the series.  Everyone gets their “happily ever after” and the world fades to black…  if you want something light, fun, and not too taxing on the mind, I would say pick this series up.  If you are looking for something thought provoking…this is not the series for you right now.  

So, after finishing two books in one week, what’s next?  I just started Life After Life by Kate Atkinson for our new book club.  I am actually really excited to get into this book.  The reviews have been wonderful and it is making a lot of “you must read this book” kind of lists.  I will say this one is going to take some thought to keep the story line and timelines clear, but I am 30 pages in and I am hooked!  Just can’t read this one when my eyes are already dropping and tired.  

Life After Life

I am thinking that this year is going to be a year for re-reading series that I love.  What is on that list?  Percy Jackson by Rick Riordan,The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare, Hyperion by Dan Simmons, and WebMage by Kelly McCullough.


What are you reading this week?  Anything I should add to my “to read list”?  

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 13, 2014

Help Make a Wish Come True…

I don’t normally share a lot of “pass this one” kind of stuff…but this is one that I hope we can all share and maybe make a wish come true.

A friend from High School is currently battling cancer, and it seems that things are not going as well as we would all like/hope/pray for her and her family.   She has one wish…to meet the singer Pink, as her lyrics have inspired her and helped her to continue to fight this fight, even when sometimes the battle seemed impossible.  Another classmate has made this video that we hope we can pass around to enough people, someone may actually reach Pink, or her manager, or someone else close to her and may help make a wish come true!  So please take a few minutes (really, its less than 5) and share, pass make a wish come true.

Thank you!


Posted by: Genny Colby | January 4, 2014

What I’m Reading…

Well, this isn’t coming in on Friday, but at least I am getting it done!
This week I finished Pawn by Aimee Carter.  I started this one right after Christmas, but finished in 2014, so I am counting that in my goal of 65 books this year!  This one has an interesting premise…70+ years ago, when the population was overwhelming resources, crime rates were sky rocketing, and there was a collapse of society in general, the Hart family came into power and changed society.  Now, families could have one child, unless they could afford the fees of a second.  When each member of society turned 17 they were given “the test” that assess their ability to contribute to society in some way.  Those who scored IV or higher were pretty much guaranteed a decent life, with a home, enough food, decent job.  Those who scored III were still promised a home, basics, and job, though the quality of these were questionable.  Those who scored lower were often sent “Elsewhere”.  The Hart family are distinguished with VII, though they are never tested.

The story starts out on Kitty’s testing day…where she has received a III.  She is feeling down, desperate, and not sure what to do next.  Her boyfriend, Benji, is sure to score higher and she does not want to hold him back.  She makes a choice to take control of her life, but the choices she makes are difficult.  Until she is made an offer she can’t refuse..she is offered the chance to become a VII.  All she has to do is take on the identity of the beloved Hart daughter Lila, who has “died” in a skiing accident.  Given little choice but to agree, Kitty soon learns that there is more to the Hart family and to Lila than meets the eye.  Lila it seems, along with her mother and finance are part of the underground resistance, fighting to change the way of life that they all know with tests and scores.  She quickly realizes that unless she starts to make her own choices she will just be the pawn of one side or the other.

It has an interesting premise, though the writing is uneven, the rebellion is not really visualized, and the characters are all pretty cookie cutter.  There was not really a redeeming factor to any of them, including Kitty, though I think the author really does try to make you like her, to feel for her, to want to be on her side.  But she comes across as wishy-washy and at times, just plain annoying.  There are a few “twists” and “turns” but to be honest, none of them were very twisty or surprising.  At times I felt like this author had read a lot of dystopian future literature and had her list of what things she needed to include and was just sort of ticking them off her list.

Over all, this was an okay book. Not great, but not bad.  I am not sure if I will read any of the future books in this series.  I think it will depend on where I am in other books when the next one comes out.


I am also reading Lover Eternal by JR Ward.  This is the second in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  To be honest, it is okay, but I am really just not feeling it.  I can’t quite see why I am supposed to care about these characters, what the overall “big bad” that ties these books together and why I should care.  It is disappointing, as I really enjoyed the first book.  I am going to finish this one, then we shall see where I go next.

Posted by: Genny Colby | January 1, 2014

To Read in 2014

This year I have “challenged” myself to read 65 books.  That is over my “1 book per week” idea, but I think I can do it.  And this year I am not counting the chapter books that I read with the monkey, unless we are reading them aloud as a family.  Finding books to read should not be a problem, as my “to read” list on Goodreads is over 500 books!  But it is hard, because it really is about finding books that grab you, fit your mood, draw you in and don’t let go.

This year I want to branch out more out of my typical reading patterns, I want to read a wider variety of genres, pick up books I may not have in the past, as well as still enjoy my favorite authors and series.  I would love to find a new author or series that just draws me in and I don’t want to let go, that I can’t put down at night.

Currently I am reading Pawn by Aimee Carter, which is okay.  A bit slow and a bit two-dimensional, but I see potential in the series, so I will finish this first one before deciding if I will continue.  I am also reading Lover Eternal by JR Ward.  This is the second book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  I am enjoying the book, but it has not gripped me so fully that I can’t put it down…which is a little disappointing as I think I was expecting more of this series based on the rave reviews that I had been given about this series.

So what should I read in 2014?   The following are the books I hope to check off the “to read” list, as I am sure I will add more as the year goes on! But what else should  add to the top of the list this year?  What book(s) have you read recently that stayed with you?

So, from my to read list…this is what I am moving to the top of the page:

Let Them Be Eaten by Bears by Peter Hoffmeister

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi

The White Queen by Phillipa Gregory

The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde


I am going to try really hard to get back into the groove of blogging, including “What I am Reading Friday”.  Hopefully we can share ideas of books that are must reads…and those that maybe are best to skip.  Here is to 2014 being a year of awesome discoveries of new books and authors!

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