5N5 Round 1 Wrap-Up

Yay! I finished my first round of 5N5 and I have to admit, I actually like reading this way.  For this round, 4 of the 5 print books were books that came from my bookshelves. Digitally, 4 out of 5 of the books were library books. I DNF’d 1 out of the 10 books that I read.  If the books will have (or already has) a full review, I will link it and will probably not say much in the wrap up.


Del Toro Moon Del Toro Moon by Darby Karchut -5 stars This is a book that I received for review, and I really enjoyed it. It is a middle grade story, father and sons fighting monsters with heart.

The Ghost Line The Ghost Line by Andrew Neil Gray and J. S. Herbison -DNF- This is a tor.com novella. Honestly, I may have continued on with this one if I did not have a bunch of other books that I was more interested in. It was slow -for me- and I quickly lost interest.

Written in Red (The Others, #1) Written in Red by Anne Bishop – 5 stars – This is a re-read for me.  I enjoyed this one just as much as I did the first time. It was as if I was reading it for the first time. And it was great.

A Christmas by the Sea A Christmas by the Sea by Melody Carlson- 2 stars-   I enjoyed the writing and will check out more by this author. But, I personally did not enjoy this novella. The ending was abrupt and everything wrapped up too neatly.

The Wide-Awake Princess (Wide-Awake Princess, #1) Wide Awake Princess by E.D. Baker – 4 stars – This is a retelling of the Sleeping Beauty fairytale. And while most of the characters are the normal fairy tale trope, Princess Annabelle is not. She is immune to magic, so she doesn’t have any special powers. But she is brave and courageous and is willing to do what it takes to save her kingdom.

Digital – 

Midnight's Daughter (Dorina Basarab, #1) Midnight’s Daughter by Karen Chance – 4 stars- Dori is not your typical heroine. While she is a dhampir and has superhuman strength and senses, she is not the strongest of them. What really appears to be her superpower is the ability to face death in various ways and survive the encounter.

Mapping the Interior Mapping the Interior by Seth Graham Jones – 3 stars – This was supposed to be a horror novella, It started out that way, but once I figured out what was going on it was just kind of creepy. It is about grief and family and the sins of the father. It was good, enjoyable and I will look for more from this author.

The Cost of Betrayal: Three Romantic Suspense Novellas The Cost of Betrayal by  Dee Henderson, Dani Pettrey and Lynette Eason – 3 stars – Three authors come together for 3 romantic suspense novellas. Each was enjoyable and was a nice glimpse into the bigger series for each author. This is another book that I received for review.

Hondo Hondo by Louis L’amour -4 stars – This is something that I picked up for some research. This is a western written by a great writer. This is a novelization of the movie, but I really enjoyed the writing. I am looking forward to reading more from this author.

Blood Valley (Cotton Pickens, #1) Blood Valley by William W. Johnstone – 4 stars – This is another western that I picked up for research. Johnstone is notorious for his westerns, but he writes out of this genre. I, unexpectedly, enjoyed this. It was funny, and the characters were fun and just the right amount of complex.


Well, this was my first 5 N 5! And as I mentioned above, I liked reading this way. I am working on the next round, an hope to read more of my own digital books. But, we’ll see.


What about you? How was your reading?

Always Shine!


June Wrap-Up

In the middle of June I decided to do a 5N5 TBR so that I would balance my time between both my print and digital shelves. And if you have checked in recently, you  know that I suck and changed some of those books. My monthly wrap-ups will consist of books that do not fall under the 5N5 (classics, audios and read alouds). But for June, these are the books that I read that will not be covered in the first 5N5 wrap-up (coming soon!) *Click the image to go to Goodreads*

This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America 4 Stars This is an essay collection that I listened to on audio book. I enjoyed it and would recommend it.

The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl 5 Stars –  A celebrity memoir that I listened to on audio. This was funny, real and made me interested in her work. Definitely recommend.

As the Tide Comes In 3 stars – Christian fiction, contemporary with romance. I enjoyed this one.

FIYAH Literary Magazine, Issue 6: Big Mama Nature 5 Stars- A science fiction and fantasy magazine focusing on works by black speculative fiction authors. I love this magazine and would definitely recommend.

Little Sister Is Not My Name (Sassy, #1)  4 stars – This is a book that I read aloud to my daughter. We enjoyed it, and I thought that it was a cute story with substance. I am looking forward to continuing on with this series.

The Sasquatch Escape (The Imaginary Veterinary, #1) 4 stars – This is a book that I read aloud to my son, we enjoyed it. An adventure with imaginary creatures. Will definitely continue with the series.

Solo 5 stars – A novel told in verse. I listened to this on audio and really enjoyed it. This was my first book by Alexander, but it won’t be my last. I will be adding his collection of books to my own library.

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever 4 stars – A kids book that I received for review. It was cute, the pictures were bright and it had a good message. (Christian fiction)


Twintuition: Double Trouble 4 Stars- Enjoyed it and will continue the series.

Sky in the Deep 4 stars – Listened to the audio, will definitely read more form this author.

A Study in Honor 4 stars – A review book that I requested. I really enjoyed it and can’t wait for the next one.

Sea Creatures from the Sky 5 stars – A children’s book sent to me for review. I loved it. Pictures are beautiful and a brand new perspective.

My So-Called Bollywood Life 5 stars – I listened to this on audio, one of those books that you listen to at just the right time. I enjoyed and will be looking for more from this author.

Dragons and Marshmallows (Zoey and Sassafras Book 1) 3 stars Another book that I read aloud to my daughter. It was cute and we will be continuing the series.

The Poet X 5 stars –  I listened to this one on audio and loved it. I will be adding this one to my personal library as well. It was fantastic!

Well that’s it for now. The rest of the books that I read will be in my 5N5 wrap-up. And I am hoping that July’s monthly wrap-up won’t be this long with the new format.


What did you read last month?

Always Shine!



Book Haul Revisit (1)

I watch a lot of  Booktube, and maybe you do too. If you do, you’ve probably seen several booktubers do this. But I saw it first with Books and Lala.

But because I haven’t been tracking my incoming books until this year, I can’t revisit everything. My online purchases are tracked for a year with Books-A-Million, so that’s what I’m using. In July of 2017,I bought 6 books. My intentions are to pick at least one of the books to read each month. Books purchased were:

Heroine Worship (Heroine Complex, #2) The Shadow of What Was Lost (The Licanius Trilogy, #1)

32968540 The Stone Sky (The Broken Earth, #3)

How to Train Your Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon, #1) How to Betray a Dragon's Hero (How to Train Your Dragon, #11)

Out of these six, the only one that I have read is How to Train Your Dragon by  Cressida Cowell.  3 books come later in the series, so I know that I won’t get to them this month.  That leaves either Akata Warrior or The Shadow of What Was Lost to pick from. Both of which I want to read, and both of which I could read for the O.W.L.S.

But I think I am going to go with . . . . (drum roll please). . .

Akata Witch!

Honestly, it has been on my TBR for the longest and it is shorter than The Shadow of What Was Lost by a lot. And I have a lot of books that I am trying to get through this month.

What about you? What are some books that you’ve purchased but have yet to read? Tell me in the comments!

Always Shine!


I Suck at Following a TBR

So, if you have been following me then you know that I am changing things up. And you may have noticed that I have published two different TBRs (one created by Random.org and a 5N5 tbr). What you  may not have seen is the wrap-ups for those TBRs. And you  may have been wondering why. Well. I suck at following a TBR. I get distracted by other books. I follow a reading rabbit hole and go totally off script.  My mood changes. Or all of these things. For the second half of the year, I am greatly reducing the unread books that I buy (I love adding to my collection so I am allowing myself to buy books that I have read and do not own. Balance) to focus on reading the books already on my shelves – digital and print. But I won’t be following TBRs or any other plan. I will just be picking them up as I want to, only following a 5 n 5 pattern; 5 digital and 5 print. And I will do wrap-ups that way. My monthly wrap-ups will be smaller consisting only of books that don’t fall into the 5 n 5, like audio books, books I’ve read to my kids and books I’ve read in the background of all my other reading (classics and non-fiction).

So did I do with my previous TBRs?

Random.org —

Little & Lion by Brandon Colbert – Read but DNF’d

Magic Forest by Zanna Davidson- Read and enjoyed, bought the next two in the series

Upgrade by Rena Florida -Read but DNF’d

Kindness for Goodness by Shawn Goodman – read and enjoyed

Didn’t read at all:

Enter Night by Michael Rowe

Sindicate by J.T. Nichols

Jar of Hears by Jennifer Hillier

The Wolf by Leo Carew

I will be reading these books soonish, but not exactly soon enough to be on any TBR.

5 N 5  TBR-

Since I will be doing a wrap-up for this I won’t go through the list of books. I will say that the books have changed. But so far, I have read two digital titles, 1 print title and DNF’d  1 print title.


In July I will be taking my O.W.L.S and in August I’ll take my N.E.W.T.S!

So are you a mood reader or TBR kind of person? Let me know in the comments. And I promise, one day I will have it all figured out and put together!



Always Shine!


Children’s Book Review: I Can Only Imagine by Bart Millard

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever

I Can Only Imagine: A Friendship with Jesus Now and Forever by Bart Millard

March 13, 2018 – Thomas Nelson

32 pgs. – Children’s Fiction, Inspirational, christian

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf

Source: Publisher

5 Stars 

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion.

This was another beautifully illustrated story that we received this month. The pictures are bright and fun. The story takes you through a series a questions that allows you to reflect on what you know about Jesus and imagine what it would be like to be with him daily, in the small ways.  It is very appropriate and engaging for kids. My daughter enjoyed looking at the pictures and my son enjoyed the rhythm of the story itself.


Always Shine!

Children’s Book Review: Sea Creatures From the Sky by Ricardo Cortes

Sea Creatures from the Sky

Sea Creatures From the Sky by Ricardo Cortes

April 3, 2018 -Akashic Books

48 pgs. – Children’s fiction, animals, sharks

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf

Source: Publisher

5 stars

I was given a copy of this book, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

I saw this in the Akashic Books catalog and was intrigued. Mainly because my son loves sharks. This is a beautiful children’s book that is not only full of wonderful illustrations, but has a unique story. This is a shark’s first encounter with man -written from the shark’s perspective.  Seeing how most people are afraid of sharks and often think of them as monsters, it is interesting the voice that Cortes chose to give the shark. Because that is not the impression that we are left with. This was fun and both of my kids enjoyed it.

Always Shine!



Goal Check in

Okay, so I thought that I had made a post about my reading goals. Turns out that I was wrong. In all honesty, it probably wasn’t worth it. I don’t have very many. The biggest goal I’ve been working on is to read more books that I own. I want to clean up and read more books from my Kindle as well. I have 4 other challenges that I am working on to. One My 12 Friends Recommend, will be finished this year and the other three will go on year after year,

Total books Read This Year: 104 

I’m using the Goodreads numbers, as I tended to update that with all of my books, including the ones I read to/for my kids.

#Offmybookshelf: My goal for this was to have 75% of the books I’ve read to be from my own shelf.  For simplicity sake, I have included any digital titles that are mine in this count.

35 of the books that I have read so far has been from my personal collection. So that puts me at 33%,  I will do better with this goal. 

12 Friends Recommend: 1

I have read All American Boys by Jason Reynolds. Rated it 5 stars,  Kelly Hager recommended anything by Jason Reynolds.

100 Must Read Sci-Fi Fantasy Novels by Female Authors: 0

This was a list I found on Book Riot and knew that I had to read the list. I started this last year and have already read 6 and dnf’d 1 (but will return to it) but I do have a quite of few titles that overlap with other challenges and goals and hope to make a lot of progress.

Nebula Shortlist: 0

Clarke Award Shortlist: 0

For both of these I plan to read all of the shortlist for the awards going back to the beginning of the award. I have not begun reading for these challenges but plan to start soon.

I guess I have not made a lot of progress on any of my goals, but I have half a year to make a dent and I plan on doing just that. I did have a goal with my book hauls, but it didn’t work. EPIC FAIL. So I am going to try something new: I will place a dollar in a jar for every book (kindle or print) that I read that I own. With the exclusion of pre-orders, I plan to take a break from buying books and focus on reading what I already own. I also had a goal about completing series, but I think that will happen naturally if I can stick to reading my own books.

Summer Classics:  I have picked out 5 classics that I want to read over the summer. (If this goes well I will pick out 5 for the Fall).

Persuasion by Jane Austen (Currently Reading)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

1984 by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

I will do another goal check in at the end of summer to see if I’ve made any progress.