Monthly Wrap-Up: August 2018

Hello book lovers! I hope you all are well and had a great month. This month has been better in reading and health for me.  I’m managing blog and reading better than before.

It’s a baby shower month, husband is coming to live with me at my mom’s place and also have a scan date and consultation appointment, so I might be bit busy till 17th of this month. Thankfully I have scheduled blog post around this dates so it won’t be any trouble.

Books I read in August ∼∼

Total books read – 10

Books Reviewed – 6

Total pages Read – 2625

Target of the month ∼∼

√ Read Minimum 6 full books (read 8)

√ Read 4 books you bought (read 5)

Reviews ∼∼

Classics:

I loved all classic I read this month and gave 5 stars to all of them except The Jungle book.

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

A beautiful classic, a century old story of young orphan girl, Heidi, about family love, friendship, country life, faith in God, and magic of mountain air that can cure mind and body of kids and adults alike. Captivating, charming, delightful, insightful classic with full of emotions. It’s best book for children and I wish to read it again and again.

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Mesmerizing classic, an enchanting story of 10-year-old Mary at mysterious Misselthwaite Manor. It was about childhood emotions and experience, innocence, growth, positivity, determination, and magic of nature. Emotional, insightful, motivating, feel-good, beautifully written classic that anyone can enjoy.

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M. Montgomery

A sequel of Anne of Green Gable, about the girlhood of Anne Shirley who is now 16 year old and a school ma’am. Beautiful writing with very simple yet engaging plot, wonderful descriptions makes this author one of my favorite. Overall, Refreshing, exhilarating, wonderful classic young adult fiction that I highly recommend to all.

To Kill a Mockingbird (To Kill a Mockingbird #1) by Harper Lee

A story about economical, racial, political, and societal issues during the era; about principles, morals, righteousness, justice; most importantly, this book is about humanity, compassion and tolerance. Overall, captivating, dramatic, insightful, brilliantly written classic that recommend to all reader of all age.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

4 Stars

great Indian children’s classic with collection of poems and stories with quirky characters and old poetic writing. Drawback- old English, slow and 1 boring story. I liked movie batter than book.

Fantasy / Middle Grade:

Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1) by Celine Kiernan

4 Stars

Mix of magic, spirit and witches with quirky funny characters, about importance of family, compassion, and conscience was the center theme of the book. it was fast paced, unique, insightful witch book. Only reason I cut the stars was, I wanted more detail on world building.

Mystery / Thriller:

Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar

4 Stars

A murder mystery about fraud, deception, immorality, manipulation, betrayal, greed, and self-obsession. A very good debut novel with thrilling, suspenseful, juicy murder mystery that had Bollywood style effect. Too much details on character, place and other things took away a star.

Picture Book / Children’s NonFiction:

L. M. Montgomery (Pequeña & GRANDE) by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara

5 Stars

It was colorful book telling the life story of Maud. A good impressive way to introduce kids to one the great historical woman and author of the time. There are other books in the series on famous women of history that kids and teachers would like to check out.

The Beedog: An Insect Discovery in Portugal by Addie Broussard

5 Stars

A colorful scientific classroom book about the insect discovery. Author included travel, technology, beach, and facts and fun activity at the end that attracts young readers and teachers to the book. Resourceful educational book with fun way of teaching.

Other Posts ∼∼

Blitz – 4

#BlogTour #Excerpt : Peddling Doomsday by Petra Jacob #Lovebooksgrouptours #PeddlingDoomsday @wonkytimepest

#BookPromo : Life is the Flower, Love is the Honey by Surabhi Sharma @thereviewauthor

#BookBlitz #Giveaway : Painless by Marty Thornley

#BlogTour #BookBlitz : Tied to Deceit by Neena H. Brar @Shalini_G26

Cover Reveal – 2

CoverReveal: In Servitude by Heleen Kist @hkist @Shalini_G26

#CoverReveal: Change of Plan by Keeley Holmes

Month at glance ∼∼

August wrap up~2.jpg


How was your month in reading? What have you read? Have you read any books from this list or planning to read in future?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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L. M. Montgomery (Pequeña & GRANDE) by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara

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L. M. Montgomery by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara

Illustrator: Anuska Allepuz

Series: Little People, Big Dreams (Pequeña & GRANDE)

Publication Date: October 2 2018

Publisher: Lincoln Children’s Books

Read Date: August 30 2018

Genre: Biographies & Memoirs / Children’s Nonfiction

Age group: 4+

Pages: 32

Stars: 5/5

5 star

Description from Publisher’s site:

New in the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the famous Canadian author of Anne of Green Gables.

Born in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island, Lucy Maud Montgomery lost her mother when she was very young. Left in the care of less-than-encouraging grandparents, she found comfort in reading, writing and her imagination. When Maud grew up, she wrote about the childhood she wished she had, creating one of the best-loved characters of all time: Anne of Green Gables. This moving book features stylish illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the author’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMSis a bestselling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!


review_edited

First, I loved that cover, a baby picture of Maud for baby readers. Isn’t that cute?

Since I have read Anne of Green Gables, I have been fan of L.M. Montgomery. I read bio of the author on Goodreads and through many other medium so I knew little bit about this great author. But when I saw this title in my auto approval galleys it was hard to let it sit there unread. I wanted to see what author has included in this little picture book meant for children. And I must say I’m not disappointed at all.

The concept of the series was fascinating and that description above says a lot. There wasn’t any extended portion as mentioned in description for hardcover, so the format I read must be a board book as it was very short but definitely wonderful.

LMM 2It was colorful book telling the life story of Maud. Illustrations were beautiful. I liked that little picture of Maud illustrator created. I could see lot of similarities between Maud and her character Anne. Both fascinated by books, diving amusing names to everything in Prince Edward Island and became a teacher. It was great to read small facts and I admit few I didn’t even know until I read this.  How she got idea for her book ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and how she rewrote her childhood through Anne was great to know.

 

LMM 1In the end there is brief biography telling the whole story of Maud with her b/w pictures which were pretty. Did you know she liked to be called Maud even though it’s her surname? I didn’t! I wish there was more about the author but it was perfectly fine for children aged 4+ yrs.

It was a good impressive way to introduce kids to one the great historical woman and author of the time. I’m sure they would love the book that will inspire them to learn more about L.M. Montgomery and her books in future. There are other books of the series on Jane Austen and Agatha Christie that I would love to read and many famous women in history. It is truly empowering series that will fascinate young reader and teacher would love to teach in classroom.

Overall, it was quick, easy read. I definitely recommend this book to all kids and teachers.


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The author:

Mª ISABEL SÁNCHEZ VERGARA, born in Barcelona, Spain, is a writer and creative director in constant search of new concepts for children’s books. Working for more than fifteen years for clients in top advertising agencies, her books combine creativity with learning, aiming to establish a new and fresh relationship between children and pop culture.

Illustrator:

Anuska Allepuz studied Fine Arts at the University of Salamanca. She graduated with Distinction in 2016 from the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at The Cambridge School of Art. Her other books include A Bear is a Bear (Nosy Crow) and That Fruit is Mine! (Walker Books).

Pre-Purachse Link and info about the book and author are available on Publisher’s site – https://www.quartoknows.com/books/9781786032959/L-M-Montgomery.html

*** Note: I received e-ARC of the book through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to publisher, author, and NetGalley. ***

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book or any other book in this series?

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Heidi by Johanna Spyri

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Publication date: November 25th 2016 (First published 1880)

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Read Date: August 28th 2018

Genre: Children’s Fiction /  Classic

Pages: 240

Stars: 5/5

5 star

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review_edited

Heidi was a beautiful classic a story of 5-yrs-old young orphan girl, Heidi, who comes to live on Swiss mountain with her grandfather and fall in love with the place, old hut and her new neighbors. It’s a coming of age story about family love, friendship, country life, faith in God, and magic of mountain air that can cure mind and body of kids and adults alike.

Heidi was a thoughtful, good hearted, lively and an apt child who instantly won my heart. She was such an innocent soul who loved mountains, goats, nature and appreciated what little she had hat in her beloved grandfather’s hut. I so adored her for her selflessness and her eagerness to help all who needed it. Her development in the book was gradual and I liked the way she turned out by the end of the book. There was so much to learn from this little girl and the book itself.

Uncle Alp was amazing grandfather that every child wish to have. His old eyes had seen and suffered lot before Heidi and when she entered his life she changed this old man awe-inspiringly. I liked his development in the third part of the book.

Member of Sesemann household were colorful. Grandmamma was my favorite of all who taught many good things Heidi. She was wise old woman who knew her ways to children’s heart and soul. Her lifelong lessons stayed with Heidi till the end of the book.  Peter, the goatherd was hungriest boy I ever seen. I bet, he would do anything for food. He was not bad but was little hard to understand as he didn’t interact much and I honestly didn’t like the way he considered Heidi as his property and was sometimes very ungrateful.

Story was created by four phases in Heidi’s life- Heidi coming to stay with her grandfather, Heidi in Frankfurt at Sessmann household, back to old hut, and visitors from Frankfurt. I was enamored by author’s writing and style and how she portrayed all these phases of Heidi’s life and her development along with it.

In the beginning of the book only author presented the presumptive nature of villagers and picturesque shimmering beauty of mountain and the old cozy hut. All characters were introduced with careful details which gave the feel of knowing them instantly. Goats in the book were so cute, even they were narrated immaculately.

Heidi’s daily visit to valleys over the mountain was most remarkable part of the book that made me fall in love with the place like all other characters in the book. This first phase of Heidi’s life was full of happiness and new discoveries.

Heidi’s life in Frankfurt was written with so much emotion. It broke my heart when Heidi’s aunt, Detie came back and dragged her to Sessmann household against her wish. I felt heavy in heart when Miss Rottenmeier forbidden her to cry and seeing her suffer due to homesickness. Amid all the gloominess, initial innocent mistakes of Heidi, visit of Grandmamma and the ghost in the house made it amusing to read. This phase taught Heidi lot about life- disciplines, gratefulness, forming a bond of friendship, importance of studies, love for book, and faith in God.

Third part of the book, Heidi’s return and visitors from Frankfurt, was my favorite. They were simply heartwarming. New change in Uncle Alp, reading hymns to grannie, Peter’s learning and miraculous recovery of Heidi’s friend was uplifting. I laughed at Peter’s fear and the effect of ABC rhyme had on him.

I liked the way author frequently encouraged characters and so readers to keep faith in God, what good that come from praying and what happens when one don’t trust God or stop praying throughout the book. I also liked the way peter was taught about the consequences of doing wrong to other in rage. Religious messages, forming bonds with other, gratefulness and selflessness, love for nature, vanity of riches and appearance, simple and healthy living – all these can forms strong foundation in children and also had a good life messages for adults.

Overall, it was captivating, charming, delightful, insightful classic with full of emotions. It’s best book for children and I wish to read it again and again. Loved it!


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Author: Johanna Spyri

Buy Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com


What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already? Which classic is your favorite?

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Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1) by Celine Kiernan

begone raggedy witches

Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1) by Celine Kiernan

Publication Date: September 11th 2018

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Read Date: August 26th 2018

Genre: Children’s Fiction , Middle Grade, Paranormal

Pages:288

Stars: 4/5

4 star

Goodreads blurb_edited

On the night that Aunty dies the Raggedy Witches come for Mup’s mam. Pale, cold, relentless, they will do anything to coax Mam back to Witches Borough. When they kidnap Mup’s dad, Mup and her mam must leave the mundane world to rescue him. But Mam is strange on this side of the border – striding, powerful, and distant. Even if they can save Dad, Mup is not sure anything will ever be the same again…


review_edited

Begone the Raggedy Witches, first in the The Wild Magic Trilogy, was the mix of magic, spirit and witches with quirky funny characters. Importance of family, compassion, and conscience was the center theme of the book.

Characters

Main character Mup was sweet, innocent, brave, good-hearted child who kept her conscience in situations where adults failed. Adults acted more childlike than Mup. She was much more developed than I thought but her understanding grew a lot by the end of the book. Her attire was funny, colorful and quirky, the reason behind her rainbowy attire was cute. She was strong character that I loved to read.

Development of secondary characters, mostly adults, was tremendous. Mam/Stella (Mup’s mother) was reckless and temperamental because of her Aunty (Stella’s mother’s sister who literally raised her and her kids). Her situation was bit understandable looking at the all secrecy and lid Aunty kept about the world she was born into and the powers she held but I didn’t like that she acted childishly before her kids. Tipper and Mup handled things better than her but her love for her family won everything. The new mam that Mup got to see in the new world was fierce, determined and powerful. She surprised me at the end by making a wise decision. At the end I like her.

Aunty was supportive, caring, lovable old lady unlike her sister, The Queen, who was mean power-hungry villain of the book. She protected this little family of Mup even after her death and I liked all she did for them. I wish I could read more about her in the book.

Tipper (Mup’s little brother) was cutest of all. I adored that little kid in his new form. His childish dialect was funny, innocent and sweetest. That little one so brave, he could be fierce like his mother when it comes to saving his family. The Crow was also a character for whom adults and kids alike will feel sympathized. He was rebellious because of adults in clan and their unfair treatment.

What I liked

Loved that cover! It’s so beautiful.

Characters, world, concept and plot was different. I haven’t read any book like this before. It was not the usual witch book that you might have read. Writing was exquisite, I liked it more in second half of the book.

The beginning of the book was intriguing, had a haunting feel with Mup and mam chased by Raggedy witches who were bad scary witches she was warned about by her great-aunt who died just few minutes ago. The terrifying scene of Mup seeing her mother in clutches of witches and seeing her mother losing the recognition of her own kids had a dark effect. Spirit, magic, evil witches, lot of things were going on in first few chapters. It took little time for me to immerse in the story because characters and world was not introduced the usual way. It was the-more-you-read-the-more-you -figure-out-what’s-going- on style in third person narrative.

It was a proper middle grade book as the view point of Mup was portrayed like kids from today’s world. She saw the points from all the aspects which felt unbelievably remarkable for such young child but she also asked questions, held the innocence, and had her own doubts which was believable.

World building was good but not too descriptive which was both plus and minus point. It was like author made readers to use their brain to understand this new world which is called Witches Borough.

Rhymes by rebel males were interesting part of the world building. The rules were different for different people including male and female. Witches turning into animal who are talking, Crow’s hapless efforts of rhyming his thoughts was amusing. Contrary to first book of trilogy, this book focused on the plot and character than the world itself. There was only brief details about the world, not all rules or the different clann were introduced. Those who were important to mention were described that is also briefly. It was nice and had potential that I’m sure will be developed in the next books of the series.

The book was insightful for both adults and kids. The untoward consequences of the wrong doing and control over one’s life, whether with good or bad purpose was represented thorough adults of the book while things have different aspect which depends on view point of the person and one should not lose their conscience no matter how bad the person or situation is, was best told through Mup’s character. It’s a kind of book both parents and kids can enjoy together and can open up a family discussion for them.

Climax was amazingly action packed and exciting. End was nice with lots of possibilities but I liked the way author gave it a different and hopeful turn. No cliff hanger which was a relief. I’m excited to read the second book, I hope it will release soon.

why not 5 stars

Some things I wanted in details regarding the world building, like- spirit concept for witches, characters’ power and their ability, and past of characters- what happened before Aunty whisked away Stella to mundane world and what made her to do so, why the Queen was so delusional about her daughter whom she hardly knew (I think, a chapter long Prologue would have been great for this).

conclusion

Overall, it was fast paced, unique, insightful witch book. As an adult I enjoyed it so readers aged 9 yrs – 12 yrs will surely love it.


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Author: Celine Kiernan

To read author’s bio click on this ⇒ link ⇐ from the Publisher’s site.

Pre-order Begone the Raggedy 

*** Note: I received e-ARC of this book via NetGalley,in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to author, publisher, and NetGalley. ***

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or any book by this author?
Do you like to read witch books? Which one is your favorite?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (43)

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


Hello and happy Monday to all Book Lovers! I hope you all had a great week.

Last week I read-

#BlogTour #Review: The Beedog: An Insect Discovery in Portugal by Addie Broussard @TwoUmbrellasPls @rararesources

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Begone the Raggedy Witches (The Wild Magic Trilogy #1) by Celine Kiernan (review will be up tomorrow by this time)

Currently Reading-

Heidi by Johanna Spyri

20893529Orphaned Heidi lives with her gruff but caring grandfather on the side of Swiss mountain, where she befriends young Peter the goat-herd. She leads an idyllic life, until she is forced to leave the mountain she has always known to go and live with a sickly girl in the city. Will Heidi ever see her grandfather again? A classic tale of a young girl’s coming-of-age, of friendship, and familial love.

I have penguin classics edition but I love this cover.

Next this week- 

The Ancient Nine by Ian SmithIan K. Smith

37638320“Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable.” —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

Spenser Collins
An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.

Dalton Winthrop
A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he’s just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He’s got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from belonging.

These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when Spenser is “punched” to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.

Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn’t offer memberships to just anyone. His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the club’s rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the Delphic’s darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked into the club’s stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.

Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond, to try to make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library’s archives, or one of Harvard’s most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.

I’m participating in the tour for this book which is in the end of September. I’m finding it more relaxing reading all tour books before schedule.


What are you reading this week?
Have you read any of these books before or planning to read in future? What do you think about them?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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