Month in Review – November 2017

As I’ve mentioned in my previous posts, I got a dog this month. So it was a pretty slow reading month. Hopefully I can read about a book a day in December, because I really want to reach my goal of 100 books this year! Here’s my (short) summary of my bookish activity for the month. As per usual, I will be linking up to bookdate.blogspot.com.

Copy of month in review (3)

Total Books Read: 4

And one of them was a picture book so…

Books Read

(The links below are affiliate links to Amazon.)

Cesar’s Way by Cesar Milan and Melissa Jo Peltier

Lucky Dog Lessons by Brandon McMillan

Al Mar Al Mar Osito Polar by Hans de Beer

Made to be His by Allison Gata

Book Formats

Paperback – 1

Ebook – 3

Book Genres

Romance – 1

Non-Fiction – 2

Picture – 1

New to Me Authors

Hans de Beer

Cesar Milan and Melissa Jo Peltier

Brandon McMillan

Allison Gatta

Top Book for September

Lucky Dog Lessons by Brandon McMillan

 

What awesome bookish things did you accomplish this month?

❤️ Annette

 

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Book Review: Lucky Dog Lessons by Brandon McMillan

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Every week, Brandon McMillan takes a dog and trains them, working to get them suitable for a forever home. He’s trained thousands of dogs over the years, so he has many tricks and tips up his sleeve for training them successfully. He outlines how to prepare for training before going into how to train the seven basic commands: SIT, DOWN, STAY, HEEL, COME, OFF, and NO. He also takes time to explain how to address common dog “problems” such as barking, digging, door dashing, and housetraining, among others.

What I Liked

  • So I’ve only read two books on training dogs, but if you do have a new dog, I definitely recommend this one! His methods are surprisingly simple and seem to be working pretty well for me and my dog.
  • He acknowledges that training doesn’t go perfectly every time or for every dog. Which means he provides lots of ideas for the tough cases. It gives you a lot of different tools to use if you need them.
  • My friend used his technique to train her dogs not to door dash. After only a couple of hours they had broken the habit completely. She was pleased that his technique had worked so well where even a professional trainer had failed.
  • The techniques work for me, a brand-new dog owner, who never even had a dog growing up, and for my friend, who has had at least fifteen years of raising dogs.
  • Another friend of mine called it “the most passive-aggressive  way to dog train”, which actually sums up the book pretty well. Your dog likes chewing your shoes? Tie the shoe to his collar and let him wear it around for a while! After that your dog may not like your shoes very much. This is just one of many similar techniques the author introduces.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Now I actually have to take the time to train my dog? 😋

In Conclusion

If you’re planning on getting a dog, if you just got a dog, or if you’re a long time dog owner, this book is definitely worth picking up!

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

New on the Stack in November 2017

 

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Meet Daisy 🙂

Regardless, I did pick up a couple of new books. Here are the books I’ve gotten since last month’s post. I will be linking this post up to The Deliberate Reader.

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

Borrowed from a Friend


Warcross by Marie Lu

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this book so I want to read it so I can discuss it.


Windfall by Jennifer Smith

This book sounds super interesting. Also, the cover is gorgeous.

 

 

Purchased eBook


Lucky Dog Lessons: Train Your Dog in 7 Days by Brandon McMillanMy friend read this book and raved about it. She got better results using these techniques than she got with a professional trainer.


Cesar’s Way by Cesar Milan and Melissa Jo Peltier

I’m a new dog owner, so I figured I should read a book by the “dog whisperer”.

 

 

What’s new on your stack?

❤ Annette

New on The Stack (1)

Lowly Worm Crochet Stuffed Animal

As I mentioned in last week’s post, for Christmas one year I crocheted a stuffed animal for each of my nephews. With each stuffed animal I also included the associated book. For my two-year-old nephew, I crocheted Lowly Worm! He was one of my favorite character’s from Richard Scarry’s books. (Fun fact: Patrick Pig is the first book I remember reading by myself.)

I used the pattern found here. It takes a G crochet hook and worsted weight yarn in black, white, red, green, blue, and brown. I didn’t make the hat for him, but the pattern does include instructions for one. This project is crocheted in the round and I think he turned out super cute!

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Getting unwrapped
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In front of the tree

Do you have a favorite crocheted book character? I’d love to learn about them!

Book Review: The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Sage is one of a few orphans chosen by Conner Bevin to pretend to be the long-lost prince. Conner, a nobleman, claims that this is the best for everybody – for the kingdom, for him, and the orphan he chooses. We as the reader get to follow Sage as he competes to be the best false prince for Bevins plan, and as he uncovers the details of the plan.

What I Liked

  • There were a lot of subtle complexities to this book. It wasn’t a mystery, but we were constantly learning new things about all of the characters, the kingdom, and the plan to be a false prince. It kept me intrigued the whole way.
  • I’m struggling to find a way to describe this book without giving much away. Lets just say that it definitely cracks my top five books for this year.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This was clearly written for an upper middle grade or lower young adult audience (similar to the Percy Jackson series I would say). This was fine by me, but I want to let you know in case that isn’t your cup of tea.
  • There was a specific chapter that confused me so much that I had to read it twice. But once I got it…. wow!

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a great fantasy, this is your book!

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

Hungry Caterpillar Crochet Stuffed Animal

Last year for Christmas I crocheted a book character for each of my nephews. I then gave them the character and the corresponding book. Below are pictures of the Very Hungry Caterpillar I crocheted, based on the one from Eric Carle’s book of the same name. I got the pattern for free on Ravely here.

To make this caterpillar you will need worsted wight yarn in green, yellow, red, and brown. I think all of my colors are Red Heart, but the green has lost its wrapper, so I’m not quite sure. 🙂 You’ll also need stuffing and a size F crochet needle. As well as scissors and a tapestry needle, of course.

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Caterpillar in progress!
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Under the tree!
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Close-up! No safety eyes, which makes it safer for the toddlers.
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I spy Christmas cookies in the background
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Crawling away…

Let me know if you have any questions or comments! I hope you enjoy seeing bookish crafts. 🙂

❤ Annette

Book Review: The M-Word by Beverly Farr

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Brenda is done with dating altogether, but still wants to have children someday. Then she meets a Marius, piano tuner who needs help getting a green card. She decides to risk it and asks him to marry her.

What I Liked

  • This book is SO CUTE. I keep going back to reread certain scenes because I just love how the characters interact.
  • I loved Marius. He’s pleasantly different from any other romantic interest I’ve read. He’s positive and down to earth and doesn’t let things “ruffle his feathers”. In some ways, I would love if my personality reflected his! He also dreams of becoming an opera singer, which was another thing I’ve never really seen in romance novels. It was fun to see a new career/personality than I was used to.
  • Although it’s been years since I’ve seen it, I think this book was loosely based on La Traviata, the opera by Giuseppe Verdi. So that’s pretty cool.
  • This is another “fade-to-black” romance so you don’t have adult content distracting from the plot of the novel.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This book is shorter than many novels, so it didn’t have as many twists and turns. However, the length and complexity seemed to match the character’s stories perfectly. I wouldn’t change anything about this book, it just wasn’t worthy of a five star rating. (Does that make sense?)

In Conclusion

If you like fade-to-black romance novels, you’ll probably love this one.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

Ten Books I Want My Future Children to Read

This is another installment of The Broke and Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday. Today we are sharing ten books we want our children (or future children) to read.

Most of the books below are listed because I enjoyed them so much as a child that I want my children to have the same experience.

(Clicking on the pictures will take you to Amazon through an affiliate link.)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I loved this book when I first read it in fifth grade. I loved how the author played with words like “jumping to conclusions” and “on the tip of your tongue”. It was just such a magical world.

Little Critter by Mercer Mayer

Both of my parents would read these stories to me as a child. I think my favorite was Little Critter’s These Are My Pets. I even had the treasury to read from as I got older. Little Critter has such a wide variety of experiences, it’s fantastic.

Time Stops for No Mouse by Michael Hoeye

This book is such a great mystery adventure. I think it’s really undersold – I’ve never seen anyone recommend it. Which is a shame, because it’s a great book!

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This is another book that I loooved as a child. It’s about a girl who thinks she is living in the 1840s, but soon finds out that she lives in modern day. Because the people who run the 1840s society won’t hand out medicine, she must embark on a journey to save them from diphtheria.

Holes by Louis Sachar

This was the first children’s book I remember reading that had a lot of moving pieces that pulled together perfectly in the end. This fascinated me.

The BFG by Roald Dahl

Most of Roald Dahl’s stories are magical. This is no exception.


School Story by Andrew Clements

Another great story.


Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling

I would be remiss if I didn’t include this on my list! I read the first book in the series when I was in third grade and Harry Potter grew up as I grew up.

Amelia Bedelia by Peggy Parish

This is a great picture book series about someone named Amelia Bedelia who takes everything literally. For example, when playing baseball, if someone yells “Go home!”, she’ll run to her house instead of home base.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr., John Archambault, and Lois Ehlert

Skit skat skoodle-doot, flip flop flee! I’ll race you to the top of the coconut tree!

What books would you add to this list?

❤ Annette

10 Books I Want My Future Children to Read

Book Review: Forgotten Honeymoon by Beverly Farr

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Summary

After a car accident, Kelly wakes up having forgotten three weeks of her life. She isn’t concerned, and resumes where (she thinks) she left off. However, she soon discovers that she’s pregnant – which, to her recollection, shouldn’t be possible! The book follows her as she tries to piece together what happened during those three weeks and figure out who the baby’s father is.

What I Liked

  • This is probably one case in which I really like amnesia being part of a book. It was fun to discover and piece together things as the character did. It was also fun to see the other characters around her acting differently than she expected because she forgot conversations and events with them.
  • This was, of course, another cute romance. Which I seem to be reading a lot of these days. It also doesn’t contain any on-screen adult content (only fade-to-black), which is nice.
  • This book was a quick read, which was also nice.

What I Didn’t Like

  • Some of the interactions between characters seemed exaggerated or unrealistic. It was a pretty cute read, it just wasn’t a “wow, amazing” sort of read.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a cute, fade-to-black sort of romance then you might enjoy this book.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)

November 2017 TBR

As I’m sure you can tell by my previous TBRs and then the end-of-month reviews, I take my TBRs as pretty loose guidelines. For as long as I’ve known me, you’d guess that I was better at knowing what I’m going to read! But that’s the great thing about books – you never know where they’re going to take you!

I need to read 26 more books to reach my goal of reading 100 books in 2017. Which means 13 books for November and 13 books for December. Here’s what I’m aiming for this month:

Secretly Hers by Jamie Beck

I read the first book in this series in October and it was great, so I’m excited to pick this one up.

Unexpectedly Hers by Jamie Beck

This is the third book in the Sterling Canyon series.

Joyfully His by Jamie Beck

A Christmas novella! Perfect for November. 🙂


Warcross by Marie Lu

I’ve heard great reviews about this book, and also met some people who didn’t like it. I want to read it so I can discuss.

Windfall by Jennifer Smith

This book sounds fantastic!


Prejudice Meets Pride by Rachael Anderson

This one’s been on my TBR for a bit now – another cute sounding romance.

Counted with the Stars by Connilyn Cossette

I picked this eBook up a couple of months ago, so now it’s time to actually read it!

It Had to Be Love by Tamra Baumann

I read book one of this series a year or two ago, so this is another series I want to complete.

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett

Still working my way through this one for the book club.


Collision Course by Gordan Korman

Hopefully a quick read to boost my books read total!

S.O.S. by Gordan Korman

The third and final book in Gordan Korman’s Titanic series.


Sugar and Spice by Lisa Papademitriou

I so need a cute bakery themed book. It’s been a while since I’ve read one.


Cinder by Marissa Meyer

I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet! The book is sitting on my nightstand, enticing me to pick it up.

 

What are you planning on reading this month? Any thoughts on my list?

❤ Annette

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