Saturday, January 28, 2023

*Stacking the Shelves* January 28, 2023

(Titles link to Amazon via Amazon Affiliate links)

Stacking The Shelves is a feature/weekly meme created by Reading Reality in which you share the books you are adding to your shelves, both physical and virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Now, I already have a monthly post I do featuring the books I get in the mail (and it's a lot because I have a serious Goodreads First Reads giveaway addiction), and I'm posting my monthly Read-A-Thon posts again too, which covers the books I receive through Netgalley. So my STS post will feature all the books I've been one-clicking on Amazon. 

On that note, here are the books I picked up this week. All Goodreads First Reads ebook wins unless otherwise specified.

The Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffrey - I bought this book on sale for $1.99 because it's a series I want to own in it's entirety. I first started reading these books in middle school because my mother owns most of them and it's a series I absolutely love, and want to read again because it's been many years. 
The Countess of the Revolution by Lana Kortchik - I paid full price (I think) for this book because I was going to request it on Netgalley for a Top Ten Tuesday post, but when I saw the ebook was already available on Amazon and only $3.99, I decided I just wanted to buy it. 
Disability Nightmare by Robert Peprah-Gyamfi
True Founder: What No One Else Has the Guts to Teach You About Starting Your First Business by Marc Lafleur
Among Shadows by Aline P Mora
Toxic by Lydia Kang - I bought this ebook on sale for I think $1.99 (but I'm not 100% sure as I had credits from the new point system on Amazon that paid for it). 
Christmas Corpse - This is another book I bought on sale and don't know how much I paid for it because it was paid for with credits. I've been tossing around the idea of hosting a Christmas in July reading challenge, and thought this one would be perfect for that. 

So that's all the new books I got this week, and it's a fairly even mix of ebook wins and books that I bought. What new books have you added to your shelves recently? If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can pay you a visit after I get home from visiting my parents. - Katie 

Friday, January 27, 2023

*Book Blogger Hop* Reading Atmosphere Preferences

We are on to a new week for the Book Blogger Hop hosted by the lovely folks over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. This weeks questions is: 

Do you prefer to read in a quiet or noisy setting? (submitted by Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer)

Yes. That's the short answer because I don't have one specific preference. Sometimes I like having music playing in the background while I'm reading (when I was in school I ALWAYS had music playing in the background while I read, now it's not an every time thing). Other times, especially if what I'm reading is on the heavier side, I do need my environment to be quiet. It's quite frustrating when I sequester myself in the bedroom to read while my husband plays video games, then he decides we need to spend time together and comes in watching reels on Facebook at full volume. Like dude, did you not see me in a completely quiet room here? 

So how about you? Do you like background noise or silence? If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can stop by and check out your full answer. - Katie 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Review: Spring Fun by Anita Bijsterbosch


Genre: Children's 3-7
Published: March 14, 2023
Pages: 32

Spring is finally here! Time to go outside and play with your friends!

Join Fox, Mouse, Raccoon, and Owl as they get ready to see animals, take a hot-air balloon ride and have an amazing day! But, wait. They need your help. Get ready to shake, shake, shake, blow hard and move this book all around to make it happen!

An interactive picture book filled with spring cheer! For children ages 3 years and up.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a cute little story about a couple of animal friends heading out for an adventure on a spring day. There are periodic action instructions for the audience that would be much more fitting with a physical book rather than an ebook (which is probably why this book is only available as a hardcover). 

The illustrations were very vibrant and crisp, showing the action along the adventure. This is a book I'd be okay reading a few times because it's fun and short. I'm fairly certain it would be a kid favorite as well because of the interactive element of the story. 

Overall I give it 4.2 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Anita Bijsterbosch was born in the Netherlands and has loved reading her entire life. As a child, she could spend hours poring through books, looking at pictures and hoping one day she could make such beautiful illustrations herself. After high school, Anita took drawing and painting lessons and practiced on her own until she had mastered many illustration techniques. When her children were young, Anita read to them every night and became inspired to write and illustrate her own children’s books. Her first book, Whose Hat Is That?, was awarded the Key Colors International Illustrators Award in 2012, and she has been creating books ever since.

Review: Sally's Big Day by Andrew Larsen

Genre: Children's 3-5
Published: February 14, 2023
Pages: 32

Sally is excited for the first day of puppy school, but it isn’t easy when there are so many new things to see (and sniff!).

It's hard to focus at puppy school when there are all kinds of pups to play with, water to splash in...and so many smells! But Sally doesn't give up and keeps trying, ending the day triumphantly.

Just like children, puppies have a lot to explore in and learn about the world around them. This sweet story will give confidence to young readers as they venture into the world to learn and try new things.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This was a very short book about a young puppy going to puppy school. On the way to school, Sally sees several different pups that are also heading to puppy school. At school she learns how to sit, but it takes a few tries before she really gets the concept down. 

The illustrations were bright and whimsical and finding the hiding bunnies was mildly amusing for me. I wouldn't want to read this story too terribly often, but the occasional re-read wouldn't make me want to claw my eyes out either. And it does have the brevity on it's side for extra re-reads. 

Overall I give it 3.3 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Amazon had no information about this author. 

Monday, January 23, 2023

*Top Ten Tuesday* New to me Authors I Discovered in 2022

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Joood - Hooligan of Platypire reviews bossed me into doing this, so I guess this is a thing I do now. 

This week’s theme is new to me author's I discovered in 2022. Now like I mentioned in my favorite books of 2022 TTT post, I didn't really do a whole heck of a lot of reading in 2022 at all, so I'm going to twist this topic a little bit and just feature some books from my shelves that I won on Goodreads in 2022, because that's honestly basically the same thing as authors I discovered in 2022 (I just haven't read the books yet). Here we go. 

Author: Ellen Alpsten

Author: Emily Thiede

Author: Kristina McMorris

Author: Cole Arthur Riley

Author: Casey McQuiston

Author: Fatima Ali and Tarajia Morrell

Author: Lyndall Gordon

Author: Mary-Alice Daniel

Author: Addison Fox

Author: S.K. Ali

Have you read any of these books? Or are there any that you think I should move higher up my TBR pile based on the cover? 

What new authors did you discover in 2022? If you're stopping by from the linkup, please be sure to drop a link to your post below so I can stop by and check out your list too. - Katie 

Review: Blurry - The Epic Hunt for Bigfoot by Kahi Aspelund


Genre: Children's 3-7
Published: October 30, 2022
Pages: 38

Monsters don’t all have to be scary.
Some can simply be blurry.
Timmy doesn’t understand why there are no clear pictures of the monsters we all talk about. He is off to solve this problem once and for all. This fun book is about Timmy and his adventures. There is drama and excitement. There is laughter and fear.

Most of all there is a fun story that your child will want to read. Again, and again.
Written for ages three to seven, this book is a great addition to your library.
It would make a great gift for kids who love reading, monsters, or are beginning to fear what lies in their closets or beds.
Grab this book and go on an adventure with your little one, on the hunt for a monster.

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This was an adorable story about a boy going hunting to find Bigfoot. Before his hunt, he researches monsters and tells us a little bit about a few of them. Then he details the steps he takes to get ready for his hunt. After that he's off. He wants to get the first non-blurry picture of Bigfoot!

The illustrations were colorful but dark. The kid is hunting in the woods though, so that makes sense. And when he finally gets the chance to photograph Bigfoot...well I won't ruin that surprise for you (for once). 

The language used in this book makes it sound like the kid is really telling the story, even like it could have been written by a child. It's just very authentic feeling kid speak. I'd probably be okay reading this book a few times, but the authentic kid speak also makes not think I'd probably not want to read it too often. 

Overall I give this book 4.1 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Kahi Aspelund was born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu and graduated from the Academy of Art in San Francisco with a bachelor’s degree in Visual Development and a minor in Fine Art.

Previously an artist in the video game and feature film animation industry for 12 years, Kahi is now helping his wife and sister run the family business while writing entertaining books for children that are filled with monsters, ghosts, and ghouls.

Today, Kahi lives in North Texas, with his wife, three children, and their rescued Australian Shepherd dog. In his free time, he enjoys reading books set in the Warhammer 40k universe, Japanese anime and manga, painting Plein-air landscapes, and drawing horses. He is also a big fan of monster movies and anything in the sci-fi or fantasy genres.

Review: Good night, Body by Britney Winn Lee


Genre: Children's 4-8
Published: February 7, 2023
Pages: 40

Bedtime can be full of big emotions for kids! Calm anxious, busy thoughts with this body scan meditation designed to help kids relax and prepare for sleep. This mindfulness practice will help children let go of the worries, stress, and excitement of the day as they reach their arms like a telescope, let their mouths hang like a hammock, dance their fingers like wind chimes, and listen to their hearts beat a reassuring cadence, "you're loved, you're loved."

From Britney Winn Lee, author of popular books The Boy with Big, Big Feelings and The Girl with Big, Big Questions, comes another powerful book for helping children navigate stress, form positive self-perceptions, and strengthen their hearts and minds. Good Night, Body echoes the comforting chants of Goodnight Moon as it leads children in greeting, moving, and relaxing each body part. With lyrical text and body-positive illustrations, this mindfulness picture book guides kids in connecting with who they are inside and out.

Good Night, Body: Finding Calm from Head to Toe is perfect for

  • children 4 to 8 and their parents and caregivers
  • families who enjoy yoga and mindfulness exercises
  • children who need a relaxing bedtime ritual to smooth the transition from play to sleep
  • children who experience anxiety, insomnia, bedtime fears, and intense emotions

I received a copy of this book through Netgalley. This is my honest review. 

This is a short meditation book to help kids calm down and relax for sleep at the end of the day. Walking them through all their body parts to focus on them for a minute. I fully intend to give it a shot myself to see if it helps quiet my mind at the end of the day. I will report back with results. 

The illustrations were very purple feeling, which I consider a good thing because I like purple. I'm pretty sure they were just using more muted pastel like colors to help with calming feelings. The scent of lavender is supposed to be sleepy making, so maybe the color is too? 

Depending on how successful the book is at calming children down, would determine how often I would want to read this book I think. Unfortunately, my kids are a bit past the age of this type of suggestion, but maybe I can try it on my niece this weekend when I see her. 

Overall I give this book 3.6 out of 5 stars. - Katie 

Britney Winn Lee writes to make room. She is a faith-rooted writer and pastor living in Shreveport, LA, with her creative husband and big-hearted son. She is the author of The Boy with Big, Big Feelings and The Girl With Big, Big Questions and is the editor of Rally: Litanies for the Lovers of God and Neighbor. A lifelong lover of the story of faith, Lee centers her work on wrestling through, dreaming about, and experimenting with how to better connect the church with the world. See what she's creating at and on social media @britneywinnlee.

Borghild Fallberg is an illustrator and graphic designer living in Arendal, Norway. She loves to illustrate cute and thoughtful children’s books and to tell stories through expressive characters. When she’s not creating books, stickers, cards, and other fun projects, Borghild enjoys hiking, yoga, reading, and learning new skills.