2019 Reading Goals

Another year of book blogging under my belt. I’m having more fun with this than I thought I would. I have learned much about myself as a reader and self-proclaimed bookworm. Most importantly I’ve learned I’m still the same as I was in school/college in that I like to dictate what I read and when. I’m not a happy reader when obligations dictate my reading.

2019 reading goals
1. Finish several series I have started
2. Read the first Harry Potter book
3. Read more of books I own
4. Review if I want, who says I have to review every book I read

I am taking back some of my reading time for me. I miss going to the library and letting the books speak to me as I walk between the bookcases. I miss reading just for fun.

I will still post reviews but maybe just not every book I read. To keep up with my reading list you can follow me on Goodreads (Angela Brocato-Skaggs) and/or Instagram (@kentuckybooklover).

Thank you for your support. I look forward to providing reviews throughout 2019 and hearing your responses.

Have a happy and safe New Year my fellow bookworms!

My Papaw, Ray Ramsey

papaw.jpg

I normally only post book reviews to my blog but I wanted to explain why it has been sometime since I’ve posted.

See, there was a great man in my life that I loved tremendously. I had only not seen him smile when his wife, my mamaw, was in the hospital. He always smiled and as my mamaw likes to say if there was a twinkle in his eye with that smile then you knew trouble was around the corner. He had a deep laugh and a singing voice that you could pick out of many. His singing voice was my favorite reason to go to church with them when I was little. He was a man of many talents. He drove a school bus for 50 years and loved his kids each year on that bus. He drove a dump truck for many years until a terrible accident almost took him from us in the ’80s. He worked for the ASCS office for 46 years measuring fields while running his own farm. He was a deacon in his church for 64 years. He was married to my mamaw for 69 years (April 24 would have been their 70th anniversary). He had 4 children, 7 grandchildren and 16 great grandchildren. He loved each one of us tremendously.

At 9pm Central Standard Time on March 22 he took his final breath with family by his side and entered the gates of heaven to meet his Heavenly Father. While I am sad, I know he is where he wants to be. He never missed a day reading his Bible and learning about Jesus. He wasn’t afraid of death as he knew where he was going was better than anyplace here on earth. He told my Mamaw he would be waiting for her by the river. How can I be sad about that?

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” … ” Revelations 22:1-27

The View from Rainshadow Bay (Lavender Tides #1) by Colleen Coble

the view from rainshadow bay.jpg

Pages: 336 (eBook)

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Published: January 23, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

What a great way to start off my romantic suspense reading for 2018. I could not figure out who the bad guys were until they were revealed. I love that!

Shauna is trying to make a life for herself and her 5 year old son after her husband dies while on a rock climbing adventure with his best friend Zach. Zach has never been able to forgive himself for the death of Jack. One day while Shauna was visiting a family friend he gives her a box and told her to give it to his estranged wife for safekeeping. As she is driving away the house explodes killing her friend. Shauna realizes it was no ordinary explosion and that the mysterious box and its contents have something to do with the explosion. Shauna enlists the help of Zack even though she blames him for her husbands death. Can Shauna and Zach figure out why the box is so important before others are killed or worse them?

You will be on the edge of your seat reading The View from Rainshadow Bay. There are several mysteries tied into the main mystery and your mind will be continuing to think about what is happening next. I caught myself several times still reading at 3am as I could not put the book down. The characters are well thought out and every action and reaction is true life.

I cannot wait for the second book in the series to be released this July.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for an advanced copy in exchange for a review based on my own thoughts and opinions.

TWO HUNDRED

Two hundred is how many books I would like to read and review in 2018. My goal this year was 120 and I surpassed that by reading a total of 199. Could I possible slip one more book in this year with two days to go? Yes, but I am going to spend the time making my game plan for 2018.

Reading has always been a passion for me. Reading has allowed me to travel to places and meet people I never would in real life. Reading has given me the quietness I need after a hard day at work or when things in life had turned upside down. I have been able to meet new friends through the love of a same book. Reading is the vehicle I need to navigate life.

I want to take this time to thank each and every one of my followers and visitors to my little book blog. Your encouragement and likes make it easier to share my thoughts on each book I read.

In 2018 expect to see reviews on children’s books I read to my classes, older books from authors that I have been reading for years and the newest books coming out. I admit I can get stuck on my two favorite genres of cozy mysteries and Amish fiction but I promise I do branch out from those very often.

I wish everyone a Happy and Safe New Year and cannot wait to connect in the new year. Happy reading!

 

Smash Cut (Mitchell & Associates #1) by Sandra Brown

smash cut

Pages: 489

Publisher: Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster)

Published: July 20, 2010

Smash Cut opens with the murder of Paul Wheeler, an Atlanta, Georgia millionaire. Julie, Paul’s mistress, is standing with him in the elevator when he is brutally murdered and dies in her arms. As the police investigate they start pointing fingers at Julie saying she set up the murder to get her hands on his money. Julie points fingers at Creighton, Paul’s nephew and spoiled little rich boy. Creighton’s parents hire defense attorney, Derek Mitchell, to represent Creighton but unbeknownst to them there is a conflict of interest as Derek knows Julie. Can Derek solve Paul’s murder before becoming a victim himself?

I have been on a Sandra Brown reading spree the past few weeks and this is the best so far. At times very violent and disturbing but unfortunately there are people in this world like the murderer. Several times I had to put the book down and take a breather. This book is not for the faint of heart or if you do not like reading violent scenes. Some sexual content throughout the book.

I warn against starting the book before bed as you may find yourself still reading when your wake up alarm sounds.

Colors of Christmas by Olivia Newport

colors of christmas.jpg

Pages: 320

Publisher: Barbour Publishing Inc./Shiloh Run Press

Published: October 1, 2017

Two very inspiring novels of having faith during the difficult times life can throw our way. The message that the Lord will see you through trials and tribulations if you give it to me is especially needed at Christmas when so many suffer from depression and the world seems to be falling in around them.

In Colors of Christmas we meet Astrid on the day her son moves her into the Assisted Living facility after a nasty fall resulting in her breaking her foot. Astrid accepts the move but is not letting that slow her down. She befriends her physical therapist, Carly, who is going through a particular hard time. As Astrid tells her story from growing up in WWII, to moving to America as a new bride not able to speak the language and two unexpected deaths she helps Carly find the strength to overcome her situation. I would like to hope we all have a little of Astrid in us when the going gets tough.

Christmas in Blue introduces us to Angela, a middle age widow, who is dealing with the loss of her best friend, Carole. The town has decided she is the perfect replacement for Carole who was the leader of the town’s Christmas celebration, A Christmas to Remember. All Angela wants to do is lock the door for next ten days and be on the other side of Christmas. As Angela deals with one problem after another she learns how strong she really is and how a town can come together to help one through a time of grief if you let them.

This is the perfect book to read to get you in the holiday spirit while keeping the true meaning of Christmas in the forefront. I see this as a book I will be buying and handing out as presents.

Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing Inc./Shiloh Run Press for an advance copy in exchange for my review in my own, honest words.

The Farmers Market Mishap by Wanda and Jean Brunstetter

the farmers market

Pages: 208

Publisher: Barbour Publishing

Published: June 1, 2017

You always know you will enjoy what you are reading if the book is written by Wanda E. Brunstetter. One reason is she uses real places as the settings for her books. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Topeka, Shipshewana and surrounding Amish communities in Northern Indiana and it draws me into the story more. It is a very friendly group of Amish communities. Brunstetter does a great job in conveying their friendliness.
This is the second book to feature the twins Thelma and Elma. The focus is more on Elma and her journey to finding last love. The first book had me in stitches at times and this book had some funny dialogue but I found it a bit more serious.
The Brunstetters are pros when it comes to using descriptive words without being overwhelming. I can picture Elma as if she was a real person. When an author succeeds in doing so I am a devoted fan.
Personally I don’t think you have to read The Lopsided Christmas Cake before reading The Farmers Market Mishap but you might appreciate Elma and Delbert’s friendship more if you do. I hope to see another book in the future featuring the twins Elma and Thelma.
Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for an ARC to read and review with my honest opinion.

You always know you will enjoy what you are reading if the book is written by Wanda E. Brunstetter. One reason is she uses real places as the settings for her books. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited Topeka, Shipshewana and surrounding Amish communities in Northern Indiana and it draws me into the story more. It is a very friendly group of Amish communities. Brunstetter does a great job in conveying their friendliness.
This is the second book to feature the twins Thelma and Elma. The focus is more on Elma and her journey to finding last love. The first book had me in stitches at times and this book had some funny dialogue but I found it a bit more serious.
The Brunstetters are pros when it comes to using descriptive words without being overwhelming. I can picture Elma as if she was a real person. When an author succeeds in doing so I am a devoted fan.
Personally I don’t think you have to read The Lopsided Christmas Cake before reading The Farmers Market Mishap but you might appreciate Elma and Delbert’s friendship more if you do. I hope to see another book in the future featuring the twins Elma and Thelma.
Thank you to NetGalley and Barbour Publishing for an ARC to read and review with my honest opinion.

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston

the beloved hope chest

Pages: 320

Publisher: Zondervan

Published: May 9, 2017

Join Mattie, the mom of the three Fisher sisters from The Forgotten Recipe, The Courtship Basket and The Cherished Quilt as she tells her story of losing a husband and son.

You will not have a dry eye while reading this book. Amy Clipston has outdone herself with this series and especially the last book. I took my time reading, The Beloved Hope Chest, as I knew it would be my last first time visit with the Fishers. Yes, I plan on re-reading this series again as it was that good.

Faith abounds in the love story of Leroy and Mattie Fisher. Christian Faith, faith in each other and faith in true love. Through this book we learn we have to trust that God knows our path before we do as he is the one who set us for it. As the wall hanging in the book states: “Happiness is like a butterfly. Don’t go chasing it.” God will make sure everything happens in the time it is to happen. Some of the happiest times are after the worst times.

You can read any of the four books as stand alones but I recommend reading in order so you can get the build up and excitement for The Beloved Hope Chest. Grab some tissues and plenty of free time. You will fight yourself to put this wonderful book down.

Thank you to NetGalley and Zondervan for providing an ARC for my own, honest opinion.