Book Review: Second-Hand Dog by Carol Lee Benjamin

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


This book addresses the unique problems than may come along with a “second-hand” dog, whether you found them on the street or adopted them from a shelter.

What I Liked

  • This book was a light, quick read. It wasn’t overly detailed like some dog training books are.
  • This book was really positive. I read it when I was struggling a lot with my dog, so this came at a great time.
  • Instructions (if any) were simple and easy to understand. Plus, there were wonderful little illustrations throughout the book.
  • I love that this book is geared specifically for “second-hand” dogs, since a lot of advice I find is for people who raised their dogs from puppies. I got my dog when she was already two years old, so I can’t control her past. I can only control her future.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This book seems like it would be a great read for a child getting a new dog, but did not provide as many details or depth as I would have liked. It wasn’t overly helpful, but it was positive enough to give me the oomph to try harder training my dog.

In Conclusion

If you need a quick read to pull you out of being frustrated with your dog, this book is for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Authors I Loved in Elementary School

For a large portion of my childhood I would find an author I loved, and then read every book they ever wrote. So a lot of these authors I have read a large majority of their books, except those that came out after elementary school. 🙂 Looking back I’m not sure if I would like all of their styles now, but I certainly enjoyed them when I was reading them.

I put the authors in alphabetical order (by last name), so I don’t have to try and put them in order from least favorite to most favorite. I’ve included pictures to four of my favorites from each author.

(Links and pictures are affiliate links)

Andrew Clements

If you haven’t read any of his books, you should, even if you’re an adult. They’re great! Frindle is probably his most famous, but The Report Card is my favorite. (The Janitor’s Boy comes in at a close second.)


Sharon Creech

Her books are quirky, and often told in uncommon formats. For example, Love That Dog is written in poems.

Roald Dahl

How can you make it through childhood without reading at least one of his books? They were so unique and fantastical. The only book of his I didn’t enjoy was his auto-biography. My favorites of his are The BFG and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Gordon Korman

His Dive series is the first series I remember eagerly anticipating the release of the next book. Each of his books were short, but detailed, and kept me on the edge of my seat. As a child I read his Everest, Dive, Island, and On the Run series. When I got older I read Son of the Mob, and now as an adult I’m trying to catch up on the other books of his that I missed.


Ann M. Martin

The Babysitter’s Little Sister series were the first chapter books I ever read. I know I read at least the first 100 in the series before I got too old for it. Then I just moved on to The Babysitter’s Club.

Donald Sobol

His Encyclopedia Brown series is another favorite of mine. They contain short little mysteries that you as the reader can solve. I swear I remember a non-Encyclopedia Brown book of his too, but I can’t for the life of me find it. 😦

What were your favorite authors in elementary school? I loved taking a trip down memory lane, and I’m very tempted to pick up more books by these authors.

❤ AnnetteElementary Books

5 Awesome Crochet Books and 5 More I Want to Read

I haven’t been doing very much of it lately (no need for scarves in Phoenix), but I enjoy crocheting. Here are five great crochet books. If you’re an expert or have never crocheted before, you’ll like at least one of these.

(Pictures are affiliate links to Amazon)

Awesome Crochet Books

The Chicks with Sticks Guide to Crochet by Nancy Queen and Mary Ellen O’Connell

While my grandmother originally taught me to crochet, I forgot much of what she taught me, so this book is really what got me into the craft. They have great directions and projects for learning almost every stitch. I still keep it as a reference, and I’ve loved everything I’ve made from the book so far.

Sheep I made using their pattern.

Crochet by DK 

This is a beautiful book. Even non-crocheters have enjoyed browsing through it (I keep it as a coffee table book). There are so many projects in here that I’m looking forward to completing. It is also more or less an encyclopedia for everything crochet, so that’s awesome.

Tasty Crochet by Rose Langlitz

This book has a ton of really cute foods you can make, from pop-tarts to ice cream cones to bacon. I made a bunch of them for my nephews’ kitchen set. The instructions are easy to follow. And did  mention the food turns out really cute?

A couple of foods I’ve made from this book. 🙂

100 Flowers to Knit and Crochet by Leslie Stanfield

It’s fun to make these flowers because they’re pretty quick and turn out quite beautiful. You can use these as appliques or in other applications. (There are 60 crochet patterns and 40 knit.)

A couple of the flowers

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Amigurumi by June Gilbank

This is also a great crochet reference book. It goes through how to make many different 3-D shapes, and how to use that to create any amigurumi of your choice. It also goes through many different options like how to do fur/hair, how to do eyes, etc.

Crochet Books I Want to Read

Super-Super Cute Crochet by Brigitte Read

I own this book but haven’t made anything from it yet. Every thing in this book is as described – super, super cute.

Crobots by Nelly Pailloux

These crochet robots also look super cute and super creative.

Supersize Crochet by Sarah Shrimpton

I haven’t yet ventured into the chunky crochet realm, but book looks like it would be a great way to get into it.

Yummi ‘Gurumi by Christen Haden and Mariarosa Sala

Crocheting treats? Count me in! This book sounds like Tasty Crochet, but perhaps with slightly yummier options?

Twinkie Chan’s Crocheted Abode A La Mode by Twinkie Chan

While not always practical, everything Twinkie Chan makes is adorable. This book focuses on crocheted foods to use around your house!

Do you have any crochet book recommendations?

❤ Annette

Crochet Books

Book Review: Meet Clara Andrews by Lacey London

Rating: ⭐⭐


Clara works in the fashion industry and finds herself dating two men at once. One is a nice, safe guy and the other is super-hot – but works for her company.

What I Liked

  • I learned new words/events? This book takes place in England, so there were definitely a couple of things that had to look up, such as:
    • Onesie
    • Kerb
    • Highway Code
    • Bonfire Night
  • This book reminded by of The Devil Wears Prada, which I’m not a fan of either. Thankfully Meet Clara Andrews wasn’t as dreadfully descriptive and dry as The Devil Wears Prada. It was a quick, light read.
  • This book has the distinction of being the first two star review on my blog. Two star books don’t come along very often because I rarely finish a book that I dislike. So at least the author had the skill to keep me reading, and to make me feel some sort of emotion towards the book, even if it wasn’t a positive emotion.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This book seems like it’s in the wrong format. Like it would be great as a series of news articles (instead of chapters) or as a TV series or something like that. But the super short chapters seemed unnecessary and awkward, and you could tell that the main character’s voice/personality would come across a lot better on screen than it did on the page.
  • There were way too many ellipses. Almost every chapter ended with them, which drove me crazy.
  • There were also way too many cliche phrases. I wish I could provide examples, but my Kindle Unlimited subscription expired and the book got sucked back to Amazon. 😛

In Conclusion

This book would be better off as a light hearted TV show, but lacks substance as a novel. If you’re looking for a romance novel, there are plenty better out there. (Check out my recommendations here!)

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

March 2018 TBR

Even though I read four books in February, I still feel like I miss reading. So this month I’m going to try to tackle some more books from my (ever-growing) bookshelf.

Warcross by Marie Lu

I’m about 100 pages into this one and enjoying it so far! I just have to sit my butt down and finish it!

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

I (think I) finally unpacked this one, and it seems like it’ll be a good read.

#Scandal by Sarah Ockler

I got this one for Christmas and it seems like another great read.

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

I feel like I need this book right now. A friend of mine is reading it and is really impressed by it, so hopefully it’ll help me too.

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

So until right this minute,  had no idea that this book was by the same author as Hex Hall! I read a lot of romances last month, so I’m eager to get back into the Young Adult genre this month. Hopefully this will be a good new-to-me author!

What do you plan on picking up this month?

❤ Annette

March 2018 TBR

Month in Review – February 2018

Can you believe it’s already March?! This year is going by so fast, but at the same time it feels like it’s been 2018 forever. Anyway, here’s a summary of my bookish activity for the month of February. I will be linking up to

February MIR

Total Books Read: 4

Books Read

(The links below are affiliate links to Amazon.)

Hearts in Hiding by Patty Smith Hall

The Scent of Cherry Blossoms by Cindy Woodsmall

The Roommate ‘dis’Agreement by Leddy Harper

Meet Clara Andrews by Lacey London

Book Formats

Paperback – 1

Hardcover – 1

Ebook – 2

Book Genres

Romance – 4


New to Me Authors

Patty Smith Hall

Leddy Harper

Lacey London


Top Book for January

The Roommate ‘dis’Agreement by Leddy Harper


Looks like Valentine’s Day put me in the mood to read romances. 🙂 How did your month go, book-wise?

❤ Annette

New on the Stack February 2018

I’ve gotten many books since last month’s post, due largely to attending the VNSA Book Sale. (The VNSA Book Sale is a huge used book sale held at the state fairgrounds. It’s fantastic.) As per usual, I will be linking this post up to The Deliberate Reader.

If you’ve been reading my blog long enough you know that I love any baking-themed book or any Christmas-themed book. So I picked up quite a few of those this month!

Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to the book’s Amazon page through an affiliate link.

Got at the VNSA

All of these books combined cost me around $40… awesome!

Merry Humbug Christmas by Sandra Bicker

I’m not usually a fan of compilations/anthologies, but they’re about Christmas, so that wins.


Christmas Singing by Cindy Woodsmall

I had just finished another book in this series right before I stumbled across this one.


Marry Me at Christmas by Susan Mallery

I love Susan Mallery’s Christmas stories.


Cupcake by Rachel Cohn

I have no idea what it’s about, and I don’t care. It’s called Cupcake.


Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Another Christmas novel.



Truthwitch by Susan Dennard

This one has been on my TBR for too long. Time to finally read it!


Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

This one has also been on my TBR for quite a while.



The Little Spark- 30 Ways to Ignite Your Creativity by Carrie Bloomston

This book looks so fun! It has lots of fun ways to be creative.


Santos of Spanish New Mexico by Al Chapman

This is a coloring book that I think my church students would love! Plus, it reminds me of visiting Santa Fe. 🙂


Enchanted Coloring Book by Nina Tara

This looks like a fun and cute coloring book.

The Mindfulness Coloring Book

I saw some mandalas that look very soothing to color.

Christmas Around the World series

I mentioned wanting to finish this series in my Finishing the Series Challenge post. And I was able to get a lot of the series at the VNSA!

Christmas in Denmark
Christmas in Spain
Christmas in New England
Christmas in Britain
Christmas in Mexico
Christmas in France
Christmas in The Netherlands




Got as a Gift

Lost Connections by Johann Hari

A wonderful friend of mine bought this book for me because her sister found it to be a really useful, interesting book.



Purchased eBook

One S’more Summer by Beth Merlin

S’more to Lose by Beth Merlin

I followed the publisher on Facebook as part of a giveaway, and they posted that you could get both of these books for a total of $.99. And since they’re sweets themed, this really was a no-brainer. 🙂

What books did you pick up this month?

❤ Annette

Copy of Copy of Copy of New on The Stack