The Book Report July 2015

The-Book-Report

Welcome to The Book Report where we run down everything that happened in the month and update you on challenges, giveaways, reviews and more!

Shari’s Update

So what’s up crew! I know I am a bit late, but I have been crunching forms for school, back to school shopping, husband out of town and all those doctor’s appointments the schools require. So I have been MIA on the site for a while as I deal with my family. But I am working to get back on track.

Not as many books read in July, but I made a decent attempt at getting 11 read this month. Reviews … well I got eight written for the month, but I also wrote about 5 for upcoming books in months to come. Pretty good for me as I am behind on writing reviews!

Anyone else getting ready for school? Remember the days when we didn’t go back until after Labor Day? Those days are long gone I am sad to say. All tat 180 days crap. Oh and the state’s standardized testing results still aren’t in from last year. What’s the point of testing one year but don’t know if that testing says they are ready to move up a grade. Oh, well, I could really go on about how I hate standardized testing and why our kids are failing school, but that is a different blog.

Getting my challenge numbers up and hoping to update all the sites I signed up with with my links to those reviews.

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Half Way There!

We are half way through this year! *GASPING* Yep, so that means I challenge you to update all your challenge information to see where you are and where you want to be at the end of this year. Go head, you know you want to accept my challenge!

Sophia Rose’s Update

Ahnya B-day- Ft. Bridger July 2015 052This month was a bit different. I did less reading because I made my annual western trek to visit family and do some getting out and about. We didn’t camp in one place this year, but used my folks’ home in Utah as a base of operations to go out for a few days in various directions.

Incidentally, I consider myself one spoiled person since over the years that I get to experience some incredible things each year when we go see and stay in some awesome (and I don’t use that word lightly) surroundings. Just when I think I have seen most everything that Utah, Idaho, Eastern Nevada, and Western Wyoming have to offer, we discover new places and sites.

Dad's Pictures Day Trip to Fremont Indian 017First, we headed east into Wyoming to visit historic Ft. Bridger/Bridger Trading Post. It was fun to let my imagination run wild thinking of Western romances I’ve read set on frontier army posts and at trading posts.

Then, west into Nevada to visit the mining town of Ely where we were able to spend a lot of time touring the huge railroad museum. It was amazing to see working steam engines, a blacksmith shop, machinist’s shop, and all the other train-related displays and buildings. What was the best part is that unlike most museums, this one didn’t have any ‘do not touch’ signs. They encouraged you to climb up into the rail cars and engines, pick up the tools and other items, and wander about at will. Only rules were put it back where you found it and don’t take anything with you. The old Hotel Nevada and other old buildings from a century and a half ago were pretty nifty.

Northern Nevada RR- Great Basin NP 086Next, we visited Great Basin National Park which had a series of caves for touring and breathtaking scenery. I don’t mind walking through caves and seeing the formations, but this was definitely not my fellow companions’ thing. They all wanted outside not long after we got into the main cavern.  I saw my first antelope in the wild and a mama moose and baby.

We caught a minor league baseball game and cheered on the local home team all while enjoying our traditional ballpark food- hotdogs and peanuts. We belted out ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ in the 7th inning. They lost, but we still had a good time.

Road Island Diner-Wasatch Nat'l Forest Day Trip 030And just this week, we drove south in Utah to hike about Fremont Indian State Park. Naturally, I stuck to the easy trails for this. It was incredible to see the evidences of the 700 year old Fremont Indian Culture from their dugout homes, household artifacts, tools, and food storage, petroglyphs and drawings on the face of the red cliffs, to a cave with a hundred handprints.

So yeah, this is why I didn’t get much reading done. Haha!

My total for the month was: 23 books with 2 DNFs

Break down:

12 Requests from Net Galley (90% complete, woots), 11 Requests from authors/publishers, 2 graphic novels, 1 audio, 7 new series, 3 end of series, 8 new to me authors, 2 DNFs

Challenges:

Austenesque Lovers TBR Pile- 38/50

Delighted Reader’s Series- 19/15+ (still trying to finish one more series)

My Reader’s Blocks’ Mt. TBR- 101/100 (I will move up to the final level- Mt. Olympus)

Herding Cats and Burning Soup’s Historical Romance- 75/60 (moving up to the final Level 5)

Brazen Babes’ Interracial- 35/36

The Book Nympho & Hot Listens Audio- 12/15

Passages to the Past’s Historical Fiction- 23/25

Nelle’s Nightstand’s Curvy Girls- 12/15

Delighted Reader’s Books N Tunes- 39/50

*Those challenges with no higher levels for advancement were marked as complete. If I finished them the month before then I won’t include them in the current month’s report. To see an actual list of books for each challenge, I’ve dedicated shelves for each challenge at GoodReads which you are free to peruse or those reviewed for the blog may be viewed on our challenge pages under the folder at the top of the page marked Reading Challenges.

Books That Stood Out:

The Prince’s Gambit by C.S. Pascat, M/M Fantasy Romance, for being so riveting I forgot to breath at times.

Do Not Forsake Me by Rosanne Bittner, Historical Western Romance, for a powerful combo of exciting action and strong romantic couple

Ross Poldark by Winston Graham, Historical Romance, for amazing description and atmosphere.

Chasing River by KA Tucker, NA Contemporary Romance, for remaining a favorite NA series

To Be or Not to Be…Read TBR Pile Vote Read:

I read the winner, The Soldier’s Dark Secret this past month. You all picked a strong winning read. It offered some good twists, a mystery, a hard-fought romance, and an interesting time period. Thank you all!

So has anyone else done some traveling this summer? How are you beating the heat? Any hot summer reads to share about? Do Tell!

July 2015 Reviews

Did you miss a review? No fear! Here’s what we wrote about in the month of June.

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • Shari- not to gloat but TG I’m done with that! lol

    Sophia- what an awesome souding trip. The train part interests me thanks to my obsessiob with Hell on Wheels!

    • Oh yes, that outdoor railroad museum and even the old western mining towns would definitely appeal to a Hell on Wheels fan.

      • If only Anson Mount was there too, I’ll take him home with me. Souvenir 😀

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Done with school! I don’t think I will ever be done since I have one going into Kindergarten and another into High School. Just never ending.

  • @Shari, you’re doign pretty well with most of your challenges. I think I still have to link up a few reviews on the sites I signed-up for them as well. And that’s so weird you still don’t have the test results of last year, than what good is it to those tests?

    @Sophia, sounds like you had a great month with that vacation/ trip. I agree that even when you think you have seen most things, there are still places you didn’t know. Even in the town I live there are so many places I still want to explore, not to mention everything outside of this country that i want to see. I especially like that picture you posted of the State Park in Utah, it looks so beautifull! I haven’t been traveling this summer, we’re staying home this year. For a great summer read I would recomend Summer Haikus, it’s a great romance set in summer in Japan. One of my favourite books I read this year.

    I hope August is a great month for both of you!

    • Shari Delighted Read

      I am plugging away at my challenges, but I am looking to update the blog again so my posts and time will be challenged in a different way. Indiana is screwy with our standardized testing results. Last year there was a whole panel on whether the test was valid because there were computer issues. This year they added so much more to the test making it 12 hours long. So who knows when the results will be in and what it really means for our kids. I have lost all faith in the testing process telling me anything.

    • Thanks for the summer vacation recommend, Lola! I still have lots of local spots to explore, too. Utah has some really pretty places that is for sure.

  • Lindy Gomez

    @Shari, I understand! Life gets in the way of reading and blogging sometimes! I totally understand. I’m not a big fan of standardized testing or open court. I think all of our kids would benefit from differentiated and more well rounded learning. My daughter just started 2nd grade today, and I was just telling my husband that I liked starting school in September much better.

    @Sophia, thanks for sharing the pics from your trip! I can tell that you had a wonderful time! I love traveling. Congrats on reaching 90% on Netgalley! That’s amazing!!! Keep up all of the good work on your reading challenges too! I don’t know how you do it!!!

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Ah, glad you enjoyed the pics. I did have a wonderful time.

      And woots yeah! That NG number was one of my New Year’s resolution and I was determined to clean it up.

    • Shari Delighted Read

      Good luck with school! I have a freshman in high school, 7th grader in middle school and one entering Kindergarten. I think I am pulling my hair out! Tomorrow is registration day and orientation with them going back Thursday. This week is going to be brutal! Hoping by Sept this calms down and we get in a routine.