Book Review – Never Broken by Jewel

Never Broken
by Jewel

My first ever CD was Jewel’s Pieces of You that I won off a radio contest. I immediately went out and bought a portable CD so I could listen to it in my car (which had a cassette player in it). I loved the CD. It wasn’t quite my regular style of music I listened to, but the words and tunes were simple, catchy and heartfelt. They were relatable.

When I saw that she had a book out, I was instantly intrigued. And I wasn’t disappointed. I learned so much about Jewel and what has made her who she is today. Her life has been far from idyllic, but she persevered and has overcome so much. When many would have given up and let life destroy them, she looked within herself, carried on and achieved what she has today.

It is wonderful to read that she has made peace with her past and found what makes her happy and works for her in life. I know I enjoyed this book when it took me less than two weeks to read (that’s quick with 2 littles in the house).

*I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Book Review – Endangered by Dani Hoots

Daughter of Hades: Book 1
by Dani Hoots

Another book review that is a long time coming.

I enjoyed this book. It was a light and quick read, funny, sweet and had likeable enough characters. It isn’t my favorite book out there, but it was fun. The Greek mythology kept me entertained. Chrys’ (daughter of Hades and Persephone) adventures with her two male friends were entertaining to tag along on. However, I did find the interaction between the guys to be a bit annoying. Very typical male-ego-stuff. I’d definitely read more books by Dani Hoots.

*I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review – Substitute by Nicholson Baker

Going to School With a Thousand Kids
by Nicholson Baker

This book review is a long time coming… I enjoyed the book, what I read of it. I did read most of it but couldn’t be bothered to read the last chapters. The format of each chapter, a day in the life of substitute teaching, was the same: get an assignment, id card and start the day substituting and tell every conversation that was had with all the students. The stories were entertaining. I did find myself laughing at some and just shaking my head at others. Kids will be kids and sometimes they say the darnedest things. It was interesting to see how school age kids have stayed the same and changed from when I was in school. But there wasn’t anything more to the book than 28 chapters/days of the same thing.

I would read some of the chapters again or as part of another book, but there wasn’t any sort of reason or thread to tie each chapter together. Something that explained Barker’s thoughts or why he was writing this.

*I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review – Service Tales by Ace Collins

Service Tales – More Stories of Man’s Best Hero by Ace Collins

I loved this book! As the title says, this is a collection of true short stories about service dogs and the humans they help. I have always loved dogs* and especially service dogs. I know first hand how smart dogs are (except for this one beagle we had…) and what comfort they can bring when you need it most. Then to have a dog trained to help you in a specific way so that you can have a full life just makes my heart warm and fuzzy. In most of these stories, the service dogs ended up learning so much more than what they were taught and more than anyone ever could have expected. I cried and laughed with the stories. This was an all around heart-warming book. I recommend it to anyone who wants an uplifting and quick read.

*And cats, but this book isn’t about service cats.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review – I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz

I love to read. And I love the idea of reading books that haven’t yet made it to the (virtual) shelves at bookstores. So, a few months ago I signed up at Netgalley where it is possible to browse through the list of books they have and see if any of them catch your attention. Then you send a request saying you’d like to read that book*. If your request is accepted, you can download the book to whatever device you’d like and read away. The only catch is that you need to write a(n honest) review of the book after you have read it. In my opinion, a review is a minor task to do in return for getting to read a new book. I need to work on my review writing skills. Practice makes perfect better right?


The most recent book I read was I Wish My Teacher Knew by Kyle Schwartz. I’m not a teacher, but I really liked this book. I Wish My Teacher Knew is a book about how you, as an educator (in any role, I don’t believe you have to be a teacher only), can show your students that you care about them and that they matter. It had some thought-provoking ideas on how you can get kids engaged in your classroom. Not just with learning, but also when new students arrive and current ones leave, how to involve your students’ family and getting the students excited about something, anything are some examples. The explanations, studies and stories Kyle gives for each chapter/section were interesting and made me think about how most of these can be easily implemented in ones own classroom.

I definitely recommend this book to others, especially if you are a teacher or work with kids/students in a learning environment.

*There are sometimes restrictions on who can read a book, such as your physical location or you’re just not the type they are looking for.

#MicroblogMonday – this and that #2

First blog post of the year… I’ve been thinking (hoping?) it is Monday for the last few days. It’s the post holiday fog after Christmas but before New Year and Loppiainen (January 6th). Here’s some random thoughts that have been going through my head lately.

– Christmas was decent. Better than I was feeling leading up to it. We ate well and the kids enjoyed themselves. I think the grandparents were exhausted when we left.

– I’ve been sucking something major lately about reading blogs and commenting. It’s even worse than how little I blog here. Bleh.

– It’s -16C today. It’s cold! But sunny and we got some snow last night, so it’s pretty too! But it’s cold!

– I got 2 adult coloring books. I scoffed at the idea when I first heard about coloring books for adults, because my mom and I were coloring together years ago! The designs weren’t solely for adults or kids, they were simple and not so amazing as now, but we were coloring, together. Way before it was trendy.

– I haven’t made any New Year resolutions in years, but this year I thought it might be time to try going sugar-free for a while or at least drastically cut down my sugar intake. I’ve mostly failed already. Oh well, I’ll keep trying.

– Sometimes the re-realization that my mom isn’t here to tell me little things just completely overwhelms me. This evening was one of those moments.

– I was sure I had more interesting thoughts in my head. I mind-blogged about them for the last week. Hmm, they must not have been that important if they can’t be recalled now.

I hope your holidays and new year was decent to you.

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.

#MicroblogMonday – Random

A quick update on baby Gabriel that I mentioned last week. A third hospital has given the family a couple of options for after birth (via section). There is hope, but it really depends on how well Gabriel is doing when he is born. The family is satisfied with the plans of action. My thoughts are with them.


Today marks one month until Tadbit’s EDD.


I’m in a funk with finding a new book to read. I have one started in Finnish, which I really should read… But I want something in English besides the two Diana Gabaldon books/novellas that I am currently reading. My problem is that I am still thinking of the Outlander series and I just can’t get past the characters and their stories. I need to find something, other than another Diana Gabaldon book, to capture my mind for a while. Don’t get me wrong, I love everything I’ve read so far by DG, I just feel the need to read something different for a bit. Any suggestions?

MicroblogMonday For more microposts, go visit Mel’s post at Stirrup Queens.