Review: The Wanderer

Thirteen-year-old Sophie hears the sea calling, promising adventure and a chance for discovery as she sets sail for England with her three uncles and two cousins. Sophie’s cousin Cody isn’t sure he has the strength to prove himself to the crew and to his father. Through Sophie’s and Cody’s travel logs, we hear stories of the past and the daily challenges of surviving at sea as The Wanderer sails toward its destination — and its passengers search for their places in the world. – Goodreads Synopsis

I don’t remember when or why I purchased this ebook, but I’m glad I did.  I’m also happy to have finally read The Wanderer and discovered how talented Sharon Creech is at writing Middle Grade fiction.

My reason for saying Creech is talented is because I’m not remotely interested in sailing, and yet this story of a family sailing trip to England from the East Coast of the United States pulled me in from the first line.  I remember thinking, “OK, this grabbed my interest, but I’m sure it will quickly disappear as I get further into the book.”  Nope, not even close.  I was irritated whenever I had to put my Nook down to do anything else.  I stayed up well past my bedtime when I got to the climax of the story because I HAD to know what would happen.  Creech managed this by keeping Sophie’s back story a mystery and doling out bits and pieces that led to more questions throughout the book.  She also made sure that my assumptions about the other characters were called into question.  It wasn’t until after I finished reading it that I realized this is a Hero’s Journey, with a rhythm that matched the ocean they sailed on.

While I still have no interest in sailing (I prefer relaxing while I travel), I became extremely interested in reading more of Creech’s work.  I’ll be reviewing another of her books, Ruby Holler, later this week, but just know you definitely have to read The Wanderer.  It might not make you want to go sailing, but you could find yourself viewing the meaning of family in a new light.

This book qualifies for the COYER Scavenger Hunt item #29 (a book with no magical or futuristic elements).

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • Angel’s Ink by Jocelynn Drake
  • Beauty by Robin McKinley
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Evolution of God by Robert Wright

     

Finished:

  • The Wanderer by Sharon Creech
  • 30 Rock and Philosophy ed. by William Irwin
  • You Are Not Your Fault and Other Revelations by Wes Nisker
  • Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

  

 

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 925

Total books for the year: 46 of 90.  The #COYER Fairy Tale retelling readathon started yesterday, so I’ll be concentrating on reading Beauty.  It’s the only fairy tale retelling I have on my Nook, so if I finish it with plenty of time to read another one, I’ll have to choose something from my Kindle or physical TBR.  This week, the Sci-Fi Summer reading challenge starts, so be sure to get signed up!

What are you reading this week?

Down the TBR Hole #28

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.

My TBR pile is down to 718 books.  I finished 3 more books on my Nook over the past week and removed several others that were complete garbage I had downloaded for free, probably without even reading the synopsis.  I’m so glad I don’t do that anymore.  Just because it’s free and an ebook doesn’t mean it’s worth having in my collection and bloating my TBR.

This week’s five books:

Gardens in the Dunes by Leslie Marmon Silko – KEEP.  This in another book I found in the gift shop at the Indian Pueblo Culture Center.

Night Watch by Sergei Lukyanenko – KEEP.  The Boyfriend got this for me years ago as part of a Birthday present.

To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis – KEEP.  This was recommended to me by the Boyfriend’s Aunt, along with the 1st book, Doomsday Book.

The Queen’s Fool by Philippa Gregory- KEEP.  Though this one is set during the reign of Elizabeth I, it’s not centered around her but a fictional character.  I’m much more likely to be able to handle that, unlike The Virgin’s Lover, which I tossed out last week.

Ethan Frome and Selected Stories by Edith Wharton – KEEP.  I’m keeping this one for the Classics Club since it’s fairly short and I only have a little over a year to finish my list.

My to-read shelf is holding steady  718 books, but I’m sure it will only be decreasing over the Summer as I clear out my Nook for COYER, Sci-Fi Summer, and the NEWTs reading challenge.

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for June 8th – 14th.
  • I’m back to taking every opportunity I can to walk and it feels great.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.

 

  • Steps: 33,587/56,000
  • Miles: 13.79/25
  • Total Miles: 339.04
  • Active Minutes: 209/210
  • Total Money Donated: $0.93/$5.00

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • You Are Not Your Fault and Other Revelations by Wes Nisker
  • 30 Rock and Philosophy ed. by William Irwin
  • Ruby Holler by Sharon Creech
  • The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

  

  

Finished:

  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield

 

Challenges:

Total pages read this week: 949

Total books for the year: 41 of 90.  I got an email from Barnes and Noble that my 1st gen Nook will no longer be supported after June 29th.  After that, I won’t be able to download my books unless I buy a new Nook or use my phone.  I hate reading ebooks on my phone, and I can’t afford a new Nook right now so I made sure I have all of my Nook books downloaded.  I also created a shelf on Goodreads.  Until I finish all of them, I’ll be focusing on reading only my Nook books.  I’ve got 66 books remaining on my Nook.  If I can finish those by the end of the year, I will be so much closer to reaching the summit of my TBR mountain (548 books)!

What are you reading this week?

Down the TBR Hole #27

Image: hjl

Down the TBR Hole was started by Lia over at Lost in a Story.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

I will be repeating this process until I’ve filtered out my entire TBR.  My TBR pile is down to 723 books.  I finished Love is a Mix Tape by Rob Sheffield, a book that I’ve owned since 2011!  I also decided to remove books from my TBR that are purely cookbooks or instructional craft books since I don’t read them in the same way as most other books.

This week’s five books:

The Word Exchange by Alena Graedon – KEEP.  “Books, libraries, and newspapers have at last become things of the past.” WHOA!  I need to read this!

Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis – KEEP.  Auntie Mame kind of annoys me and I cringe when a certain someone I know says she aspires to be like this iconic character.  However, I find myself wanting to find out what antics she gets up to in this sequel.  It’s also a fairly short book and I already own it, so why not?

The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory – GO.  The English History course I took in college ruined this for me.  I know too much about Queen Elizabeth I to not roll my eyes at every non-factual bit in this book.

Poisoned Pens ed. by Gary Dexter – KEEP.  The idea of a book full of authors insulting each other sounds too fun to pass up.  The only fear I have is that I will come across an insult about a favorite author by another favorite author.

What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund – KEEP.  The subject of this book fascinates me, so there’s no way I’m getting rid of it.

My to-read shelf is down one to 722 books.  COYER started today and Sci-Fi Summer starts in less than 2 weeks, so I’m hoping that number will continue to decrease.

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for June 1st – 7th.
  • I’ve been taking it easy on knee this week so I shifted my focus to doing yoga.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.

 

  • Steps: 23,161/56,000
  • Miles: 9.51/25
  • Total Miles: 325.25
  • Active Minutes: 132/210
  • Total Money Donated: $0.90/$5.00

#SciFiSummer 2018 Reading Challenge

SCI-FI SUMMERReading Challenge

For me, the Summer is the time of year for reading Science Fiction.  So, from June 21st (the official first day of Summer) to the 21st of September (the day before the Autumnal Equinox), I’m reading as much Sci-Fi as possible.  I’ve got a lot of it on my TBR shelves, and I’m inviting all of you to join me for some #SciFiSummer fun!  The sign-up is below, and you can post your intent to participate anywhere on the web that will allow you to share the link to your post.

Below are the levels:

  • Red Shirt – 1 to 5 books
  • Viper Pilot – 6 to 10 books
  • Jedi – 11 to 15 books
  • Time Lord – 16 or more books

I’m shooting for Viper Pilot this year since the #COYER Summer Birthday Bash overlaps.

Any book of at least 100 pages that is classified as Science Fiction, including any Sci-Fi subgenres, qualifies for this challenge.  That means audiobooks, physical books, ebooks, library books, free books, other borrowed books, anthologies, and graphic novels are all acceptable options.  You may also count any Sci-Fi book that counts towards another reading challenge.  On June 21st, I’ll post the link up for your reviews, and it will stay open until September 28th.

Are you up to the Science Fiction Summer challenge?  Link up your sign-up posts below:

The sign-up will remain open until September 14th, a week before the challenge ends.

 

Monday’s Minutes

“Monday’s Minutes” is a weekly post in which I track my bookish life.  All book covers are linked to Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Currently Reading:

  • Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
  • Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Evolution of God by Robert Wright
  • You Are Not Your Fault and Other Revelations by Wes Nisker

     

Total pages read this week: 115

Total books for the year: 39 of 90.  I don’t even remember that last time I read so little.  I’m sure it doesn’t help that 3 of my current reads are fairly dense, and I’ve lost most of my interest in Strange the Dreamer.  I’m determined to finish it, but the god-like people in the story are detestable and that is making it very difficult for me to get through the chapters that focus on them. 

What are you reading this week?

#COYER – Big Summer Birthday Bash!

COYER turns 5 this summer and we’re celebrating with a Big Summer Birthday Bash!  There’s a lot going on this COYER, so I’m only going to share with you the parts that I’ll be doing.  For the full details, click on the link above.

The Basics

  • The challenge begins June 9th and ends August 31st.
  • It’s Summer and that means anything goes! It can be any format, any price, obtained from any legal location.

Birthday Bash Goody #1 – Declare your cleaning goal!

I’ll be going for “Lightly Clean” by reading  up to 10 books.

Birthday Bash Goody #3 – Participate in at least 1 Readathon!

I’ll be participating in the following:

  • Fairy Tales with a Twist: Read fairy tale re-tellings from Sunday June 17th to Saturday June 23rd.
  • Dusting Off The Shelves: Read the oldest books on your TBR. They have to have sat on your shelf for at least 1 year. Readathon runs Sunday July 29th to Saturday August 4th.
  • Scary Stories by the Campfire!: Read about ghosts, goblins, and any other horror/thriller that would make for a scary campfire tale from Sunday August 5th to Saturday August 11th.

Birthday Bash Goody #4 – Participate in one or all the Mini-Challenges hosted by COYER participants!

I don’t know what the mini-challenges will be, but I’m sure I’ll want to participate in at least one of them.

Birthday Bash Goody #5 – Participate in the mini-scavenger hunt!

The mini-scavenger hunt runs from Sunday August 12th to Saturday August 25th.  You can get the scavenger hunt list on the main sign-up page.

Birthday Bash Goody #6 – Participate in the Social Media Games in the Facebook group and the Twitter parties!

Social Media Games I might participate in:

  • Monday: What are you reading?
  • Tuesday: Cora COYER
  • Thursday: Tell Me with a GIF
  • Saturday: COYER Trivia
  • Sunday: COYER Update

Twitter Parties I’ll be able to do:

  • Kick-Off Twitter Party: Sunday, June 10th at 4pm EST
  • Saturday, July 14th at 11am EST
  • Saturday, August 18th at 12pm EST
  • Sneak Peak: Sunday, August 26th at 4pm EST

Birthday Bash Goody #7 – Fill in 1 or all 4 BINGO Boards!

I doubt I’m going to be able to read enough books to fill in an entire BINGO board, but I’m going to try!

Birthday Bash Goody #8 – Survive Hurricane Berls!

Read only eBooks, $1 or less, that you already own (including ARCs), from Wednesday July 25th to Saturday July 28th.

Birthday Bash Goody #9 – Make a list of 15 books and read a least 10 of them!

I put my list on Goodreads.

Birthday Bash Goody #10 – Participate in the Switch!

Each week from Sunday June 24th to Saturday July 14th, do the Strict, the List, and the One with the Twist.  I’ll do the Switch in that order.

The Strict – June 24th to june 30th

  1. Every book you read must be an eBook or audiobook.
  2. Every book must be either free or less than $5.
  3. No library books, borrowed books, or Kindle Unlimited.

The List – July 1st to july 7th

  1. Make a list of up to 15 books you want to read (I’m using the same list I made for Goody #9)
  2. Every book on the list must be in your possession before you put them on the list. Books can be any format, any price, obtained any legal way.

The One with the Twist – July 8th to july 14th

  1. You can read any book, any price, obtained any legal way.
  2. The Twist is you have to stick with one format. I’ll be sticking to eBooks.

Are you participating in the #COYER Summer Birthday Bash?