It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

Annyeong haseyo. How was your weekend? Ours consisted of sending off the husband to his coworker’s house to watch football after his Michael Jordan drive to to the hoop ended up in a sprained ankle since Friday while the dames and I had a relaxing Saturday; a Sunday brunch of bacon, breakfast sausages, and blueberry pancakes + a bit of baking; and today is a school holiday so the keiki and I are will be running around craft shopping.

What written word has captivated you lately?

It’s been over a month since I’ve participated in linking up with Kathryn and other avid book readers. While last year I was like a race car driver in books, this 2016 I’ve been more at a stroll with a few knitting projects to knock off.


The first audiobook I finished listening to for 2016 was this one:


The Bloodlines books by Richelle Mead had caught my attention in the past because they involved a new group I didn’t hear about before, the Alchemists, a group of humans in charge of keeping the race of vampires a secret from the ordinary world. After reading the fourth installment, I didn’t know whether I would continue on. But after starting to listen to audiobooks online, I found Silver Shadows on Youtube.

Wow. The content of this fifth book is definitely young adult material as Sydney Sage is held in captive in a facility for the reeducation of Alchemists who lost their way among the Morois and dhampirs. Some of the methods used surprised me and were intense.

I don’t want to give anything away because you have to read it yourself if you decide to give this series a try. I rate Silver Shadows four stars.


I was able to finish my First Book/eBook of the Year:


I’m pleased to have tried a new author. Adriana Trigiani’s writing is real. Her characters aren’t perfect Barbies. They have that east coast edge who aren’t afraid to voice their opinions in a boisterous way which may chafe others the wrong way. Yet, there are strong ties of blood.

These were elements of the author’s writing I enjoyed:

Fun Metaphors:

“The tuxedoed waitstaff pours out of the kitchen and through the galley doors like chocolate chips into cake batter.” (Pg. 23, 4%)

[Describing the youngest Roncalli daughter in her bridal gown] “Her tiny waist twists as she threads through the tables looking like an electric-mixer beater dripping with white frosting.” (Pg. 31, 6%)

Italian Family Ways:

‘Ma. All we’ll miss is the great aunts forming a line like Vestal virgins in a Charlton Heston movie to fight over the centerpieces.’ Tomorrow every grave of my forefathers from Bayshore to Sunnyside will be decorated with wedding flowers. Italians never waste a floral arrangement. It’s a sin. (Pg. 39, 7%)

The World of Making Wedding Shoes:

The bay windows that face the West Side Highway create an old-fashioned storefront, turning us into a kind of aquarium for passersby who observe us as we work. Strangers often become mesmerized as they watch us press, hammer, and sew. We are so fascinating that PS 3 considers us a mandatory field trip every spring. The kids get a firsthand view of old-world craftsmanship, manual labor from centuries past. (Pg. 84, 14%)

There’s double-sided white satin jacquard stitched in harlequin checks; embroidered cream silk patterned with loose flower petals in relief; eggshell velvet that shows a pale gold sheen in a certain light; sheer beige organza as stiff as fondant icing; and milky cotton linen textured with nubs of thread that give it the look of raw dotted swiss. (Pg. 86, 14%)

The Value of a SAHM:

(Pages 246-247, 41%)

‘ Thank you for acknowledging my contribution. I hoped my children would appreciate the little things I did and the big meals I prepared…I worked hard all of my life’-Mom lifts the steamer full of asparagus off the stove, removes the lid, and lifts the asparagus out with tongs-‘inside my home. I don’t like the delineation of career in the office versus homemaking. Work is work. And I worked for my family, to the exclusion of my own goals. You four children were my job. My performance evaluation came when each of you graduated from college and fled the nest able to take care of yourself…’

When we were growing up, my friends would tell me that their moms would threaten them into behaving by saying things like, ‘I hope your children ruin your life the way you’ve ruined mine!’

No, when Mom really wanted to scare us, she’d say, ‘That’s it! I’ve had it! I’ll go out and get a job! You heard me! A job! Then you’ll see what it’s like with no mother around here to wait on you hand and foot!’

…and we became her high-powered career. Lee Iaococca had nothing on my mother. Motherhood was her IBM, her Chrysler, and her Nabisco. She as CEO of our family.

Three stars for what I learned was actually a series. Would I read on? No, but I would try out another of Trigiani’s books.


This the second eBook I finished reading recently. It was a free download I learned about on one of the book blogs I follow. I figured why not? Ya can’t beat free, yeah?

From Goodreads:

To survive, their bond must be unbreakable.

When the mysterious and passionate Rhane rescues Kali from an attacker in the theater parking lot, they form an immediate, smoldering connection. But Kali doesn’t remember Rhane or anything from their past. As far as Kali knows, she’s just a seventeen-year-old kid coping with an insatiable hunger for the “spark” or energy of others, feeding on classmates to survive.

A unique artifact—one that may hold the key to returning Kali’s memories—is uncovered by the archaeology firm where she works part-time, sending Kali and Rhane on a dangerous journey that leads them to the Forbidden City, into the unforgiving Gobi, and into the ruins of Rhane’s ancient homeland. As they fight for survival, Kali begins to discover who she really is and the true power she possesses.

But Rhane still harbors a secret that could destroy Kali…unless old enemies kill her first.

Some readers found this book starting off shallow and stopped there. While I could see their perspective during the first, couple of pages, I also understood that Kali was only seventeen. Being a teenager is awkward. Bodily changes happen at different times. Some girls feel awkward in their skin. My tween had a student at her old school who looked more mature than what her real age was. It happens, right?

So once I got past that, the story started dipping into it’s main plot where each event of danger began to build up into more intense ones. That is when I got sucked in. Here, things were occurring to Kali. More characters were coming into the picture. The author, Eden Ashley, was good at stringing me along even though I had these questions about who, why, and how!

I gave Dark Siren a deserved four stars. Would I continue the series? It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so excited about a paranormal, young adult set of books after Twilight and The Mortal Instruments. I have tried out several supernatural series – YA and adult – and am not rushing to read further. However, upon some contemplation, I think I need to give each a second go and then decide either to stay or move on. So yes, I’d read the second Dark Siren book to see how it goes.

Like Porky Pig always said, “That’s all folks!” Until our next chat, annyeong kaseyo.


32 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What are you reading?

  1. That is an effective technique of capturing metaphors and phrases that are attention arresting. Thought provoking captures. Have a good week, Stefanie.


  2. WOw you are really doing some serious reading! Im grateful for the reviews. I was a knitting fiend this weekend finishing a sweater on a self imposed deadline…so no reading.


  3. Your breakfast sounds so tempting…now I want what you were having! LOL

    I like some of Trigiani’s books more than others…my favorites were the Big Stone Gap books, and there was actually a movie of that first one in the series (or maybe it is a conglomerate of the first few).

    Enjoy your week, and here are MY WEEKLY UPDATES


  4. Very interesting books! We are done storing away Christmas and cleaning! Once it is done it feels so good…it’s starting it that is the pain!


  5. I was just checking out your WHERE Are You Reading 2016 page. Did you leave of New Jersey on purpose? I only noticed because I live in Wyoming and it is listed as #49 instead of #50. I’m such a nerd I had to go see who you forgot!


    • OMGosh, thanks for catching that for me. I think I had copied and pasted from 2015’s list and might have accidentally deleted New Jersey, LOL! My bad. Thanks again.


  6. I’ve been telling myself to start Bloodlines for years. Literally. Every year I’m like “Yeah, I’m finally gonna read this!” But it never happens. *shameful*


  7. Your brunch sounds delicious! I read Very Valentine and felt much the same way you did. I do love Trigiani’s Big Stone Gap series though. At least, what I’ve read of it. They’re set in the Appalachians (my part of the world), so that may have given it an unfair advantage. I think it really is a good story no matter where you’re from though. Enjoy your week!


  8. Some interesting snippets shared. I hope you enjoy all your upcoming books. A slow start reading wise sounds just fine for the start of a new year… Or any point – reading is reading regardless of pace.

    That breakfast has made me hungry!


  9. I really enjoy Adriana Trigiani’s writing, as well; she had me hooked with her first novel, years ago! I hope your husband is recovering well; your description of his basketball snafu has me cracking up!!


  10. you’ve been reading so much, amazing! I’m reading a non fiction book, H is for Hawk, and it’s wonderful- a very moving account of a woman’s depression and obsession with falconry after her father’s death. I know that doesn’t sound interesting, but it somehow really is!


  11. I’ve read one Trigiani book myself. I liked it, but I don’t think I will become one of her avid fans.

    It sounds like you had a lovely weekend. Hooray for pancakes!


  12. You always get so much reading done, I should do better, I am still reading A Walk in the Woods [and loving it].

    PS- you asked about my thyroid…I had radiation and now no longer have a gland, but not before it did a lot of harm to my health , also my adrenal gland and pituitary gland have been damaged.
    Life is never dull!


  13. Dark Siren looks pretty cool – I am a fan of the free download. Sometimes they sit on my reader for a while but I eventually get to them. I love YA! I am reading The Kanin Chronicles by Amanda Hocking and I really enjoy them. I also love Cassandra Clare, whom I see that you mentioned. I liked the Clockwork series a bit better than the one set in modern day but both were good. They actually just turned that it into a TV Show, Shadowhunters. It’s not too bad!


  14. I’ve heard good things about Trigiani, hope you continue to enjoy her writing. Sorry to hear about the sprained ankle, as a guy who recently did that myself I can relate. Hope it’s not too bad.

    Sounds like a nice brunch. 🙂 Have a great week…


  15. I’m in the middle of The House of Hades and just finished The Rest of Us Just Live Here. The Kid and I have to look up metaphors and similes for his weekly homework as well as identify pieces of Personification. Sometimes it’s fun. Sometimes it’s frustrating for him depending on what he’s read. It’s interesting to me, because the passages give me a glimpse into what he is gleaning from his reading.


  16. I just finished Grey, the 50 Shades book. Hehe! I need to get in more reading. I did more last year than several years past. My hubs just bought a marketing book that I want to read. I do love young adult fiction. I bought my oldest a series called the Phoenix files that I want to read. Nice selections. I think I should take up audiobooks!


  17. I haven’t got a book on the go at the moment, but wouldn’t mind considering audio books to listen to while I crochet……never tried one before. Also I feel like I am stuck in a rut with books, need something fresh to read….so I may look out a few of the fantasy type books you have written about.

    Sounds like you had some lovely food at the weekend too =)


  18. I loved Trigiani’s The Shoemaker’s Wife! Haven’t read this one, though. Glad you got your eBook reading started!


  19. I hope that your husband’s ankle is healing well. Mine overdid it with the snow shoveling (despite my constant reminder to take frequent breaks) and strained his back. As for books, I started the year off by reading Colleen Hoover’s Slammed trilogy and really enjoyed them, especially the first two.


  20. Pingback: I just had to stop by. – Wooly Cakes and Wooden Spoons

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