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Showing posts with label SarahMlynowski. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SarahMlynowski. Show all posts

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2020

Top Ten Fiction and Non-Fiction Books Second Quarter 2020

This quarter I have read 85 books, which was one more than Q4 2019. I was down about 10% over the previous quarter. There were many excellent reads. I am a little behind my book a day pace that I have maintained for the better part of the last 3 years. But life happens. And reading and reviewing is my hobby. Of the 86 books read this quarter 61 got 5/5 stars of those 10 of those have been read before leaving 51 books to pick from for the 10 Ten lists this quarter. And 20 of those were fiction and 31 non-fiction.

Here is my top ten fiction and non-fiction books of the second quarter of 2020.

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books:
1. Bible
2. Immortal Combat: Confronting the Heart of Darkness - Fr. Dwight Longenecker
3. Books by Saint John Henry Newman
4. Impossible Marriages Redeemed - Leila Miller -  They Didn't End the Story in the Middle
5. CTS Concise Histories - The Catholic Truth Society
6. Our Lady of Silence - Fr Emiliano Antenucci - CTS Devotions
7. Our Lady, Untier of Knots: Story of a Marian Devotion -  Miguel Cuartero Samperi
8. Novena to the Holy Spirit - Philip G. Bochanski
9. CTS Biographies - The Catholic Truth Society
10. Miraculous! Catholic Mysteries for Kids - Kathryn Swegart - Catholic Stories for Kids Book 2

Bonus:
Novena to the Blessed Virgin Mary - Walter Macken
Meeting Christ in the Eucharist - Stephen Wang - CTS Living the Sacraments
History of the Mass Explained - Charles Wentworth Dilke - CTS Explanations

The Beautiful Story of Mary - Maite Roche

Top Ten Fiction Books:
1. Dex Hollister Series -  Karina Fabian
2. Unsparked Series - Corinna Turner
3. Dragon Assassin 8 Burning Empire - Arthur Slade
4. Fire Starters - Theresa Linden - West Brothers Book 6
5. Infinite Space, Infinite God II - Karina Lumbert Fabian and Robert Fabian Editors 
6. The Losers Club - Andrew Clements
7. A Boy Called Bat Series - Elana K. Arnold and Charles Santoso 
8. Breastplate of Righteousness - Theresa Linden - Armour of God Book 2
9. Sisters of the Last Straw - Karen Kelly Boyce and Sue Anderson Gioulis 
10. Shadow Stalker - T.M. Gaouette

Bonus:
Death Panels - Michelle Buckman
Abby in Oz - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 2

My reading has been consistent at about a book a day over the last few years, but this quarter was only about three quarters of a book a day. There were many great reads this quarter, some new books just out in print, and some older that have been around for a while. I encourage you to check a few of them out, and let me know what you think after you have read them.

Note: I do not include books that have been read in previous years and were reread this year in my top ten lists, they are sometimes in the bonus section. But if you want more options check out my favorite books year by year list


Relates Posts: 
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2010
Top 10 Reading Goals for 2010
Top 10 Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2010

Top 10 Fiction Books 4th Quarter 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2010 - Recap

Top 10 Fiction Books 2010
Top 10 Picture Books of 2010
Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2010

Top 10 Graphic Novels for 2010
Top Ten Reading Goals For 2011
 

Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals for 2011 Update
 
Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2011 
Top Ten Fictions Books 4th Quarter 2011
Top Ten Fiction Books 2011
Top Ten Reading Goals 2011 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2012

Top Ten Fiction Books 3rd Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books  4th Quarter 2012
Top Ten Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2012
Top Ten Reading Goals 2012 - Recap
Top Ten Reading Goals 2013
Top 10 Fiction Books 1st Quarter 2013

Top 10 Fiction Books 2nd Quarter 2013
Top 10 Books Second Half 2013
Top Ten Fiction Books 2013
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2013 
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2014
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2014
Top Ten Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2014
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2015
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2015
Top Ten Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2015
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2016
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2016
Top Ten Non- Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Fiction Books 2016
Top Ten Catholic Books
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2017
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2017
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Fiction Books 2017
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2018
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2018
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Fiction Books 2018
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2019
Top Ten Books Fourth Quarter 2019
Top Ten Non-Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Fiction Books 2019
Top Ten Books First Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Second Quarter 2020
Top Ten Books Third Quarter 2020
... 

All Top Ten Lists on Book Reviews and More

Statistics Books Read By Year:

181 - 2019 January-June
392 - 2019
359 - 2018
380 - 2017 
272 - 2016 
177 - 2015 
130 - 2014 
88 -  2013
176 - 2012 
163 - 2011
302 - 2010
142 - 2009
98 - 2008
83 - 2007
191 - 2006
151 - 2005
60 - 2004
52 - 2003
97 - 2002
50 - 2001
41 - 2000
71 - 1999
73 - 1998
131 - 1997
101 - 1996



Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Once Upon a Frog - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Book 8

Once Upon a Frog
Whatever After Book 8
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 
9780545746632
eISBN 9780545746618
ASIN B00YD46BS4


This is the fifth book in this series that I have read with my oldest daughter. A few years ago when she was a reluctant reader. Back then when we read, I would read two pages for every page she read to me. But she has just read this book to me and read the whole thing in four sittings. She also read a few books in the series to her aunt and gram on a road trip last year. The whole family loves these stories from 8-year old’s to 79 year old’s. It is a wonderful series, and currently it is my oldest daughters favorite in the series. 

Both my daughter and I give this story a solid 5/5 stars. We loved the twists on the old tale. We appreciated that Abby learned a lesson about judging people and applied it once out of the fairy tale and back at school. There are a few more twists in this story that in the other volumes we have read together. 

My daughters thought: the plot twist when the prince turned back blew my mind. Realizing that things are not as they appear. And we need to figure out why people are doing what they are doing. Especially if it seems weird, rude or strange. And to make sure that our own reactions are not worse than what is being done to us. 

The story is an excellent take on a familiar tale. And the fact that Jonah is infused with Maryrose’s memories. And that those memories help them to figure out why they went through the mirror this time. And to determine who the villain really is. Every time we read an adventure of Abby and Sarah we learn something.  

The writings in these stories is excellent. My daughter and I love reading them together. And the retelling of the story of the Frog Prince was full of surprise. It really is one of the best in the series that we have read so far. It is an excellent book in a great series.






Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz



Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell


Friday, 22 May 2020

Abby In Oz - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 2

Abby In Oz
Whatever After Book 13.5
Special Edition 2
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 
9780545746694
eISBN 9780545746700
ASIN B07NNSN254


Four years ago, when my oldest daughter, Abby, was a much more reluctant reader we began this series. As part of the family reading challenge she needs to read at least 20 minutes each day. When we began this series, I would read 2 pages for every page she read. Now she reads to me. And this book she read to be beginning to end over nine days. And She read to me while I worked out, killing two birds with one stone. Last summer while on a road trip with her Aunt and Nana she read them two of these books. And she read me the other special edition last fall. And this second Special Edition she has just finished reading to me.

We both really enjoy the whatever After books. As have other family members she has read them to.  This is the fifth that we have read together. And of all the Whatever After books this one is now my daughters favorite. She really liked that there was less focus on Jonah not being with Abby this time. She also appreciated the conflict between the friends, and how they had to all realize things in order to overcome it. She loved the final conflict with the witches, and is now using this story in her own bid to get a new puppy. 

Again after reading this story we also talked about what other books we would love to see Abby dropped into. Her top pick would be one of the Narnia books, specifically The Magician’s Nephew, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I on the other hand thought immediately of the possibilities if Abby were to find herself and her friends in The Giver by Lois Lowry, or Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. But I am getting ahead of myself, lets take a look at this specific book. My daughter also wondered about dropping Abby in the tv Series Once where things are already messed up. 

This second Whatever After Special Edition they are different than any of the other books for a number of reasons. First, Jonah and Abby do not go together into the story. Second, they do not get to the story via Mary Rose the magic mirror in their basement. In this one Abby and her friends get caught up in a tornado while in a tree house and are transported to Oz. What is similar is that they end up in a story. Then they mess the story up somehow and need to fix it to find their way out. But this time they need to not only find a way home themselves, they need to help Dorothy and Toto find a way home. They encounter many of the characters from the story, and one evil fairy who has a nasty plan and purpose, and Gluck is out to get them, especially Abby.

With the first Special Edition I mentioned I enjoyed it more than the source story. That was not the case this time, but it was still a great read. I really enjoy that my daughter who is now 13 still enjoys these books and is willing to read them to me. This is a great addition to the stories in the ‘Whatever After’ world. We both give it a very solid 5/5 Stars!

Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz


Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell





Thursday, 10 October 2019

Abby In Wonderland - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Special Edition 1

Abby In Wonderland
Whatever After Book 10.5
Special Edition 1
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545746670

eISBN 9780545746656
ASIN B01N6785HW





Three years ago, when my oldest daughter, Abby, was a much more reluctant reader we began this series. As part of the family reading challenge she needs to read at least 20 minutes each day. When we began this series I would read 2 pages for every page she read. Now she reads to me. This is the first book that I recall her reading from beginning to end to me. And She read to me while I worked out, killing two birds with one stone. This summer while on a road trip with her Aunt and Nana she read them two of these books. And this Special edition she just finished reading to me.

We both really enjoy the whatever After books, and this is the fourth that we have read together. And of all the Whatever After books this one is my daughters favorite. What she like best about the book was that Abby and penny were not friends at the beginning of the story, but by the end of it they were. They were even going to modify their best friends’ necklaces to include Penny. What she did not like was how much Abby talked about the ketchup, how much she focused on Jonah not being there. And also missing Jonah on the adventure. While discussing the book after finishing it we discovered that there is a second special edition due out next year, Abby in Oz. We are both eagerly anticipating it. We also talked about what other books we would love to see Abby dropped into. Her top pick would be one of the Narnia books, specifically The Magician’s Nephew, or The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. I on the other hand thought immediately of the possibilities if Abby were to find herself and her friends in The Giver by Lois Lowry, or Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit. But I am getting ahead of myself, lets take a look at this specific book.

This first Whatever After Special Edition is different than any of the other books for a number of reasons. First, Joan and Abby do not go together into the story. Second, They do not get to the story via Mary Rose the magic mirror in their basement. Three they fall into s story not a fairy tale. And four she goes with three friends. What is similar is that they end up in a story. Then they mess the story up somehow and need to fix it to find their way out. They encounter many of the characters from the story, and one evil fairy who has a nasty plan and purpose. 

I will be honest and state that I enjoy this story much more than the original Alice story. Abby in wonderland is and excellent read, and another wonderful story in the Whatever After series.  But to find out all that Abby figures out, and what the implications of that are to freeing Mary Rose, you will need to read this story. 

Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz


Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell





Friday, 27 May 2016

Fairest of All - Sarah Mlynowski - Whatever After Book 1

Fairest of All
Whatever After Book 1
Sarah Mlynowski
Scholastic
ISBN 9780545403306


This is one of the books my oldest daughter and I read together this year. For school she is suppose to read for 20 minutes a day. Because she is struggling a bit we tend to read 40 minutes but alternate pages. This book and the series that is now up to ten books is a new spin on old tales. In some ways reminiscent of the fractured fairy tales, or Tony Abbott's Cracked Classics. It is the story of two modern day kids who get transported through a magic mirror into the events of the legend or story of Sleeping Beauty.

This is the story of Abby and Jonah and their adventure. Late one night they get ported through the large mirror in the basement along with most of their parent's Legal books, and soon find themselves in a story that is familiar but not quite the same. Abby is very cautious and also very protective both of Beauty and her brother. Jonah on the other hand seems to be a jump first think later type of guy. When they stop Snow White eating the poised apple the whole story goes sideways. Soon they are trying to figure out how to set the story right. Also time in the story seems to be moving at a much slower pace than back home, for Abby's watch is moving incrementally. They have until their parents would wake up the next morning to figure this out. As such they spend a number of days trying to help Beauty and to set the story right. So the tasks they have to accomplish are:

  • Not get poisoned
  • Sneak into the evil queen's castle
  • Set Beauty up with the Prince
  • And find a way back home.
All while the clock is ticking. That is a lot of pressure on the shoulders of a two siblings far far away from home and in a place they do not really understand. And all of that on a ticking clock.

This was an interesting take on the story. The way the kids looked after and protected each other was a great example. The fact that they choose to stick around and fix their mistake instead of taking a quick way out is a great example of character and integrity. My daughter loved the premise and has since picked up a few more from this series for us to read together. She also loved some of the twists on the dwarfs. But to find that out you will need to read the book. So we have a lot of reading ahead of us. So overall a good read that I can recommend.

Books by Sarah Mlynowski:
Magic in Manhattan Series:

Bras & Broomsticks
Frogs & French Kisses
Spells & Sleeping Bags
Parties & Potions

Whatever After Series:

Fairest of All
If the Shoe Fits
Sink or Swim
Dream On
Bad Hair Day
Cold As Ice
Beauty Queen
Once Upon a Frog
Genie in a Bottle

Sugar and Spice
Two Peas in a Pod
Seeing Red
Spill the Beans


Whatever After Special Editions:
Abby in Wonderland
Abby in Oz



Upside-Down Magic Series:
Upside-Down Magic #1
Sticks and Stones #2
Showing Off #3

Other Books by Sarah:
Milkrun
Fishbowl
Monkey Business
As Seen on TV
Me Vs. Me
Gimme a Call
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have)
Don't Even Think About It
Think Twice
Know It All
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find
A Little Bit Broken
Cruisin'
Party Girls
The Two-Month Itch

Books Coauthored:
See Jane Write (with Farrin Jacobs)
How to Be Bad (with E. Lockhart and Lauren Myracle)

Books Contributed To:
Girls' Night In
Girls Night Out
American Girls About Town
Fireworks
Vacations from Hell