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My Love of Reading is a Never Ending Journey

Archive for the category “2016”

Book Review – Disney Manga Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas

Title: Disney Manga Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Chirstmas30795613.jpg

Series: none

Author: Jun Asuka

Published: November 22nd, 2016

Links: Amazon * Barnes and Noble

Dates Read: October 3rd, 2016

Rating: 3 stars

Source: Netgalley


Goodreads Summary:

Manga publishing pioneer TOKYOPOP brings you a special edition gorgeous hardcover manga based on the classic Halloween masterpiece Disney Tim Burton s Nightmare Before Christmas. A must-have for manga fans, Tim Burton fans, and Halloween fans alike!! Collect this horrifying masterpiece!



Lindsey’s review:

I was provided a digital copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I wanted to really like this after all Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite Halloween movies.

However I was bored after a few pages.

Also Netgalley only provided readers with about 30 pages of the complete book. Therefore it’s hard for me to provide an honest complete review.

I do like the illustrations which are nice and are similar to the characters in the movie which will be good for the kids who know and love the movie.

Overall I wish I would have had a chance to read the whole book.

3 stars

Book Review: The Snow Queen

Title: 28503657.jpg
The Snow Queen

Series: No

Author: Hans Christian Andersen 

Illustrator: Sanna Annukka

Translator: Jean Hersholt

Published: October 4th, 2016

Links: Amazon * Barnes And Noble

Dates Read: October 18th, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Blogging For Books

“I can give her no greater power than she has already, said the woman; don’t you see how strong that is? How men and animals are obliged to serve her, and how well she has got through the world, barefooted as she is. She cannot receive any power from me greater than she now has, which consists in her own purity and innocence of heart. If she cannot herself obtain access to the Snow Queen, and remove the glass fragments from little Kay, we can do nothing to help her.”
Hans Christian Andersen, The Snow Queen


Goodreads Summary:

Gorgeously packaged with intricate illustrations from Finnish illustrator, Sanna Annukka, this new edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s well-loved fairy tale, The Snow Queen, is the perfect holiday gift for adults and children alike.

Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is elevated from a children’s book to a unique work of art. It is an ideal gift for people of all ages.

“When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now…”
Hans Christian Andersen, The Snow Queen

Lindsey’s review:

Honestly saying this makes me feel odd but for me this was my first time reading The Snow Queen: A Tale in Seven Stories but I had heard of the story but never read it until now.

And I can honestly say that I really enjoyed the book. It’s a short (88 pages) read but for me it was one of those special first time reads that I was enjoyable.

After I finished reading it (in one sitting) I decided to skim the current reviews to see how others liked it. It was interesting to see the different reviews.

As a nanny I have watched Frozen one too many times and I prefer this over Frozen.

I live in California where it tends to be hot and yes we have mountains with snow I really like books that have the snow and cold weather. And seeing how Hans Christian Andersen tackles snow and giving it a life of it’s own is amazing. It’s truly a lovely aspect of the book.

Hidden deep within the pages of the book is a message that is important for all readers to notice. A message of sacrificial love.

The illustrations within the book are gorgeous!! I just loved looking at them before reading the book and while I was reading.

At the end I recommend that everyone take the time to read it at least once. After all its 88 pages. It’s not long at all. I have a feeling that I will be rereading it.

I was provided a physical copy from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. This had no impact on my feeling for the book or my review.


4 stars

Book Review – Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life

Title: Alexander Hamilton’s Guide to Life

Series: No29662107

Author: Jeff Wilser

Published:September 20th, 2016

Links:Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Dates Read: October 2nd, 2016 to October 3rd, 2016

Rating: 5 stars

Source: Blogging For Books – physical copy

Goodreads Challenge:
coming soon

Goodreads Summary: 

The life and lessons of the Founding Father who mastered the arts of wit, war, and wealth, longbefore becomingthe subject of Broadway sHamilton: An American Musical

Two centuries after his death, Alexander Hamilton is shining once more under the world s spotlight and we need him now more than ever.
Hamilton was a self-starter. Scrappy. Orphaned as a child, he came to America with nothing but a code of honor and a hunger to work. He then went on to help win the Revolutionary War and ratify the Constitution, create the country s financial system, charm New York s most eligible ladies, and land his face on our $10 bill.The ultimate underdog, he combined a fearless, independent spirit with a much-needed dose of American optimism.
Hamilton died before he could teach us the lessons he learned, but Alexander Hamilton s Guide to Life unlocks his core principles intended for anyone interested in success, romance, money, or dueling. They include:
.Speak with Authority Even If You Have None (Career)
.Seduce with Your Strengths (Romance)
.Find Time for the Quills and the Bills (Money)
.Put the Father in Founding Father (Friends & Family)
.Being Right Trumps Being Popular (Leadership)
For history buffs and pop-culture addicts alike, this mix of biography, humor, and advice offers a fresh take on a nearly forgotten Founding Father, and will spark a revolution in your own life.”


Lindsey’s review:

Alexander Hamilton
My name is Alexander Hamilton
And there’s a million things I haven’t done
But just you wait, just you wait…

Back in school I remember learning about Hamilton but never really paying attention to his impact on our world and his life. But recently and thanks to the hit musical “Hamilton” myself and so many others have decided to learn more about who Alexander Hamilton really was.

I have not seen the musical but I have listened to the songs and purchased the book that was used to create the play. When I saw this I decided to step away from the musical and have a different look into Alexander Hamilton and his life.

This is a quick and enjoyable book to read. First I was surprised that it was a smaller book in size but it still had a nice length to it.

I have recently gotten into politics and history. I was also into the Kennedy family and their impact on the special education world because I’m working on becoming a special education teacher. However I was not into Hamilton but thanks to books like this I have been able to go back and really look into the impact he had on our society. His influence was huge.

Jeff Wilser has done a great job writing this book. It’s written in a way were it’s like fiction. It’s addicting and I did not want to put it down. Great job.

I was provided a physical copy of the book through blogging for books in exchange for an honest review. That had no impact on my feeling and review of the book.

5 stars

Welcome October!


October has arrived – and for me it’s the start of my favorite time  – I love the next few months. From Halloween to Christmas it’s just a wonderful time.

First – October – it’s Halloween and my birthday. And I just love curling up with a good horror book, a nice cup of coffee and getting lost in a world of horror.

Second – November – Thanksgiving – yum yum yum

Third – December – Christmas – yes the presents are great but what I love is the music, the colors, the food, and spending time with my family.

Before we get to November and December it’s Halloween month!!! School got the best of me in September but I’m determined to get back into my normal reading pattern and get through several books this month.

Coming up –

  1. a few reviews
  2. OwlCrate September box review
  3. Best Damn Book Box Review for June and July (once July arrives)
  4. Nerd book box review for the September box



Beauty and the Beast 2017 movie

Out of all the Disney Princess’s I feel most connected to Belle. Why? Easy. She is a reader and finds reading to be enjoyable and not boring. Therefore I’m extremely excited for the movie to come out in 2017.


As for the casting I have to say that I’m very happy with each actor they placed in each role. At the moment we have only gotten a few teaser trailers –

Beauty and the Beast teaser trailer #1 

Cast –

Emma Watson (Harry Potter, Perks of Being a Wallflower) as Belle


Dan Stevens (Downtown Abbey, Night as the Museum) as the Beast

Luke Evans (Fast and Furious, The Hobbit) as Gaston

Ewan McGregor (Moulin Rouge!, Fargo) as Lumiere

Ian McKellen (Lord of the Rings, Mr. Holmes) as Cogsworth

Waiting for photos of Plumette, Mrs. Potts, Cadenza, Le Fou, and so many more. We can only hope that we have given those photos soon!

The movie will appear at theaters on March 17th, 2017!

Now I’m off to get some reading done.


Book Review: Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs

Title: 26192600Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs

Series: No

Author: Dave Holmes

Published: June 28th, 2016

Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Dates Read:August 14th to 18th, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Blogging for Books



Goodreads Summary:

From former MTV VJ Dave Holmes, the hilarious memoir of a perpetual outsider fumbling towards self-acceptance, with the music of the ’80s, ’90s, and today as his soundtrack

Dave Holmes has spent his life on the periphery, nose pressed hopefully against the glass, wanting just one thing: to get inside. Growing up, he was the artsy son in the sporty family. At his all-boys high school and Catholic college, he was the closeted gay kid surrounded by crush-worthy straight guys. And in his twenties, in the middle of a disastrous career in advertising, he accidentally became an MTV VJ overnight when he finished second, naturally, in the Wanna Be a VJ contest, opening the door to fame, fortune, and celebrity—you know, almost.

In Party of One, Holmes tells the hilariously painful and painfully hilarious tales—in the vein of Rob Sheffield, Andy Cohen, and Paul Feig—of an outsider desperate to get in, of a misfit constantly changing shape, of a music geek who finally learns to accept himself. Structured around a mix of hits and deep cuts from the last four decades—from Bruce Springsteen’s “Hungry Heart” and En Vogue’s “Free Your Mind” to LCD Soundsystem’s “Losing My Edge” and Bleachers’ “I Wanna Get Better”—and punctuated with interludes like “So You’ve Had Your Heart Broken in the 1990s: A Playlist” and “Notes on (Jesse) Camp,” this book is for anyone who’s ever felt like a square peg, especially those who have found their place in the world around a band, an album, or a song. It’s a laugh-out-loud funny, deeply nostalgic story about never fitting in, never giving up, and letting good music guide the way.



Lindsey’s review:

Thank you to Blogging For Books for providing me with a physical copy in exchange for an honest review. By receiving a review copy had not baring in my review.

I received an email stating that Party of One: A Memoir in 21 Songs was available to read for review. After looking at the cover and reading the summary I decided that this was a book that I would enjoy.

I’m open to reading pretty much anything ( a few genres are not for me) and I don’t judge people for how they live their life. But I was interested in seeing how Dave was going to tell a memoir about his life by using 21 songs. And once I started reading I was pulled in and invested in his life and knowing more about how he grew up.

Now I’m a little young but I had a little time with MTV and the music videos they used to show rather some of the over priced, lame TV shows that they show now. I don’t really remember Dave or the other hosts but I was able to connect with some of the talk of songs and artists he spoke about throughout his book thanks to my mom who introduced my brother and I to while growing up.

I felt that Dave wrote about his life growing up and his time on MTV in a captivating and interesting way that as a reader I really enjoyed.

Overall a great read in my opinion.

4 stars

Book Review: Snow White: A graphic Novel

Title: cover83269-medium.pngSnow White: A graphic Novel

Series: no

Author: Matt Phelan

Published: September 13th, 2016

Links: Amazon * Barnes & Nobel

Dates Read: August 11th, 2016

Rating: 4 stars

Source: Netgalley and Candlewick Press

Goodreads Summary:

The scene: New York City, 1928. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words “Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL.” In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil.


(photo from Matt Phelan’s video trailer for the novel)

Lindsey’s Review:

I was given a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley and Candlewick Press

Recently I have gotten into reading comics/graphic novels. Therefore I was excited to have a chance to read a graphic novel with a Snow White twist and with the novel being set in New York.

Now what I noticed right away was the fact that there was very little writing. Therefore it was a quick read. But what it lacks in writing it shines in illustrations. The illustrations are stunning and beautiful.

I think that Matt Phelan has created a retelling of the classic Disney tale of Snow White in the style of a graphic novel in a wonderful way. It provides twists and turns with each page. And with a few recasting but I won’t so more because……spoilers.

I could see myself getting this for my niece when she gets a little older. I would love to introduce her to different takes of the Disney movies she loves.

4 stars


Book Review – The Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep

Title: 9780735842687.jpgThe Bear Who Couldn’t Sleep

Series: no

Author: Caroline Nastro

Published: October 1st, 2016

Links: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Dates Read: August 3rd, 2016

Source: Netgalley



Goodreads Summary:

There s no place like home when it s time for bed. When Bear can t sleep, he goes on an adventure and discovers the wonders of New York City a parade, Central Park, hot dogs, and more! But when he finally gets tired and looks for a place to rest . . . he learns why it s called the city that never sleeps. What s a bear to do? Caroline Nastro s gentle adventure and Vanya Nastanlieva s engaging illustrations are sure to comfort and delight!”


Lindsey’s Review:

I received a digital copy of this book from Netgalley and North South Books inc in exchange for an honest review.

I really enjoyed this book. It’s one of those books were I found myself smiling throughout the whole story.

The story is about a small cub who found himself unable to sleep in winter while his family took their winter nap. Therefore the young cub did what all young children do and that was went on an adventure. The young cub traveled to the city and did a little exploring on his own.

Overall the plot was easy to follow and even the youngest listener (at bedtime maybe) will be able to follow along with the story.

The illustrations are beautiful and simple at the same time.

I really liked this book and either when I’m a teacher or a parent I most likely will invest in this book. Children will enjoy it and I believe adults will too. After all I’m an adult…..but a kid at heart.

5 stars


Why I read?

Someone asked me why I read all the time? They followed it up with reading is boring and makes me fall asleep whenever I pick up a book. I told them that maybe they have not found that one book that hooked them from the start. They followed that up with a “nope, I just don’t like reading. So why do you?”

Once I got passed my shock at this confession. Think Kevin from Home Alone after he used after shaving cream for the first time. I was shocked but wanted to scream at the person.


However after the shock passed I took a step back and thought maybe there are people out there who don’t like reading and find it odd that I could spend hours inside a Barnes and Nobel, suffering Amazon making To Be Read (TBR in booknerd talk) and to buy lists. That I would rather on a Friday night go home and get into a nice pair of pajamas and curl up with a nice long book and lose myself within the pages of the book. That having over 1,000 books inside my room while I buy more each month and rarely get rid of them is a strange behavior. Maybe in this conversation I’m really the odd one and the other person is “normal.”

books books books

Just a glimpse into my bookcase!

I started off telling the individual that I was not always this into reading. In fact reading was extremely hard for me when I was younger. I entered Kindergarten and was barely able to read. It was not until the end of Kindergarten that I was tested and determined that I was behind my peers in reading. However they still pushed me into the first grade. While in first grade I was able to get to a Kindergarten reading level but I was still behind. Also while in the first grade I was tested again and this time it was determined that I was behind in reading AND had a speech problem. This was due to the fact that I did not start talking until I was three years old.

So first grade saw me entering the Resource Specialist Program (RSP).  I started my journey in RSP and Speech by having weekly speech sessions along with traveling down to the RSP room when I needed help on classwork. At the end of first grade I was tested and it was determined that I was at a Kindergarten reading level but almost at a first grade reading level. So what happens? I get sent to the second grade. Where another year passes with RSP and Speech. This time my teacher sent myself and other RSP students to the RSP room as much as she could because she did not want to handle us. During the yearly standard testing the teacher administering my exam wrote on a post it note “what can’t you read the directions?” And harsh reality there was that I could not read the directions. This whole time my rock has been my mom, she was and still is by my side. After second grade she put her foot down and asked the school to provide me with a summer tutor. Which they did. I had weekly meetings with this tutor at the public library all summer. In fact my library still has the room where those meetings took place and each time I see the room it reminds me of those wonderful meetings which helped me become the reader I am today.

At the start of third grade I get tested again in both reading and speech. And you know what? Those reading lessons paid off. I was now caught up with my peers in reading. But the school still wanted me to stay in the RSP they said for spelling and any other problems that might arise. I stayed in RSP until middle of seventh grade when I put my foot down and said I wanted out. I stopped Speech in the third grade. But now here is where my love for reading started. I was able to read now and discovered the magic that was in reading. And because she was not easy for I realized that reading allowed me to escape what was around me at school. When I would ask a teacher for help or go to the RSP room I was teased and laughed at. Students would call me names and say that RSP stood for ‘really stupid people’ followed by laughing. So I decided that to escape the harsh world in elementary I spent as much time in the library where my world was changed.

Third grade was the first year I spent most of my free time inside the walls of the library. I would spend recess and lunch when I could reading and looking at the books. I became friends with the librarian. And if I was not reading I would help her restock the books and after she would let me pick something out of the library shop for free. Usually I would pick one of those cool pencil erasers and show it off to my friends in class. Now fast forward to the end of third grade when I was tested again and this time it was determined that I was not at a fourth grade reading level and AHEAD of my peers. So all that library time and reading has paid off. I entered the fourth grade and by the time I left I was at a fifth grade level. At the end of fifth grade I was at 8th grade level and started reading Stephen King (thanks grandma for letting me read The Shining). By eight grade I was at a high school level and high school I was at a college level. So once I discovered reading I did not want to stop and wanted to read as much as I could and that is what I’m doing today.

So I asked the person “you want to know why I read?” Well I read to

  • escape the harsh world around us
  • journey to far away places that can’t be reached my plane, train, boat, or car
  • meet new people
  • fall in love with fictional worlds
  • fall in love with fictional people

Overall reading to me is magic and it’s powerful. It’s like what Stephen King Said “books are uniquely portable magic.” So fair in my journey of reading I have seen a young wizard battle a supervillain, a hobbit and his friends destroy a ring,  four siblings become royalty to a new land, a father go crazy during winter time while taking care of a hotel, a rapid dog terrorize a mother & son in their car, a child coming to life after getting hit by a truck, and a time lord travel trough the past/present/future saving the world. And each time I pick up a new book I know I will go on a new journey. A journey that will stay with my forever.

Books are powerful and can change a life. All you have to do is pick up a book and turn on your imagination and be open to the journey that is waiting for you on page one.

So I finally looked at the person while holding a bag of books and said “I read because I can. Because reading is a powerful tool.”

And as the Doctor on Doctor Who said “a book is the most dangerous weapon in the world.” Therefore I won’t be putting my books down anytime soon. In fact I think I might have to buy a new book today. Let me consult my oh so long to buy list.


Book Review – Tarzan of the Apes

Title: tarzan.jpgTarzan of the Apes

Series: Tarzan

Author: Edgar Rice Burroughs

Published: October 1912

Links: Amazon * Barnes And Noble

Dates Read: July 3 to 8, 2016

My Rating: 4 stars

Source: owned book


“I am Tarzan of the Apes. I want you. I am yours. You are mine. We live here together always in my house. I will bring you the best of fruits, the tenderest deer, the finest meats that roam the jungle. I will hunt for you. I am the greatest of the jungle fighters. I will fight for you. I am the mightiest of the jungle fighters. You are Jane Porter, I saw it in your letter. When you see this you will know that it is for you and that Tarzan of the Apes loves you.”

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes

Goodreads Summary:

In 1888 Lord and Lady Clayton sail from England but to West Africa and perish on a remote island. When their infant son is adopted by fanged, great anthropoid apes, he is Tarzan of the Apes. His intelligence and caring mother raise him to be king. Self-educated by his parents’ library, Tarzan rescues genteel Jane Porter from the perils of his jungle.

“For myself, I always assume that a lion is ferocious, and so I am never caught off my guard.”
Edgar Rice Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes

My Review:

I wanted to read this before seeing the new movie and I also wanted to read it because I have not actually read the book before.

When going into the book I never knew that it was first published in 1912 and was part of a large series! However that fact that there were so many in the series made me happy. Just more to read if I enjoy the book. And I did enjoy the book now to just work on reading the rest in the series.

From the first page to the last page I was pulled in. I did find a few parts to be a little boring but overall the book was great.

I have to say that my one experience with Tarzan really is the Disney Movie. As a kid I LOVED that movie and would watch it over and over. I loved the story and the music. However with Edgar’s story there is no sweet little Disney movie hidden within the pages and words. In fact its the opposite of a sweet Disney movie. It had a gruesome story line that has a strong sense of beauty and wonder in it.

Knowing that the movie was coming out had me picturing the actors while I read. Which was not bad since Alexander plays Tarzan.

4 stars


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