Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Obituary Society (The Obituary Society, #1) by Jessica L. Randall

The Obituary Society
By: Jessica L. Randall 

Published: 2014
Published By: Kindle Edition
Format Read: Kindle for PC
Genre: Mystery, Chick-Lit, Contemporary
Date Read: August 16, 2016

Rating: 3.5/5

At twenty-four years old Lila Moore is left to plan her beloved Grandfather’s funeral, which brings her to his hometown of Auburn Nebraska. The very same hometown in which he abruptly left many years prior. Although a charming place where everybody knows each other, Auburn holds some dark secrets that shroud Lila’s family and their home the she inherits. While she begins to renovate the Depression era house she begins to get to know the townsfolk, including a group of her Great-Aunt Ada’s friends who call themselves the Obituary Society. She also befriends a local handsome lawyer and an awkward single father. When strange occurrences begin happening to Lila at the old house, she learns that not all her new friends have the best of intentions.

I was initially attracted to this novel by its title; The Obituary Society and the eye catching cover image of a woman holding a delicious-looking dessert.

Jessica L. Randall’s humorous writing style and the descriptions of Auburn immediately drew me in. I loved the cozy tight-knit community and its colourful case of characters. Great-Aunt Ada’s friends in the Obituary Society were among my favourite characters and they sure proved the devotion to their friendship. I only wish they would have had a bigger part in the story.

Although I found the mystery interesting, I didn’t particularly like the supernatural occurrences and felt it took away from my enjoyment in this novel. There were also a couple of instances involving bird attacks that made me feel very uncomfortable.

Setting those specific points aside, I found The Obituary Society to be a quick and engaging novel that I would recommend to fans of chick-lit. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: August 28, 2016

Offline Ramblings:
Hello everyone, 

I hope you are enjoying the last weekend of August. Where has the summer gone? I am really looking forward to the fall and cooler weather though.

I had so much to say in my last Sunday Wrap-up that I forgot to talk about the garden. We harvested all the beats and did we ever get a lot! The picture below shows only half of what was picked.

A photo posted by Melissa Lee (@melissaleesmanyreads) on

It was enough to can 29 bottles. By the time we go through that lot we won’t want to see another beet again, haha. Next up is to bottle some carrots and then finally the pears, once they are ready. I’ve discovered that I enjoy working in the garden, watching it grow and harvesting all the vegetables. Unfortunately the raspberries didn’t turn out for some reason. I wonder if it was due in part to the very dry summer we’ve had. Ah well there is always next year.

My Reading Progress

This week I have been participating in the Bout of Book Read-a-thon and failing miserably. I was so excited to be participating at first. I made good progress for the first day or so, then it was like I just didn’t feel like reading. What a terrible time to fall into a reading slump, eh?

My Reading Progress

I did manage to finish 2 short books though. One of which has been on my TBR since before I began blogging, so I am happy to have finally gotten to it.

This book was enjoyable, but not amazing. I decided on a 3/5 rating.

Such a wonderful story, but far shorter than I expected. I gave it a 4/5 rating. 

Currently Reading

I’m still working on the same books I was reading in my last Sunday Wrap-up.

On the Blog

Recent Posts

Upcoming Posts

Tuesday: Book Review: The Obituary Society (The Obituary Society, #1) by Jessica L. Randall RATING: 3.5/5
Thursday: Monthly Wrap-up: August, 2016

Hosted by: Book Date

Hosted by: Caffeinated Reviewer

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Bout of Books 17: Master Post

Bout of Books
It's Bout of Books time again! If you are interested in learning more or signing up, click on the image above to be taken to the read-a-thon blog. Welcome to my master post. Here I will be keeping track of my reading for the week.

Check out my Bout of Books 17: Sign-up! post for my TBR list.
Wishing all of the other participants the best of luck and happy reading!

Bout of Books 17: Master Post

Overall Totals

Total # of Books Completed
Total # of Pages Read
Total # of Challenges Completed
321 + 30 mins (Audio)

Friday, August 26, 2016
Books Read:
Pages Read:

  •  Tuck Everlasting by Natalie                      Babbitt

  • 56 pages 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Books Read:
Pages Read:

  •  Tuck Everlasting by Natalie                      Babbitt
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson                   Levine

  • 10 pgs
  • 15 minutes (Audio) 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Books Read:
Pages Read:

  •  Tuck Everlasting by Natalie                       Babbitt
  • Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson                   Levine

  • 23 pgs.
  • 15 mins. (Audio)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Books Read:
Pages Read:

  • The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) by Carolyn Keene
  • Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit

  • 81 pgs (COMPLETED)
  • 50 pgs

Monday, August 22, 2016

Books Read:
Pages Read:
  • The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew #2) by Carolyn Keene 

  • 101 pgs

Books to Movie Challenge

My Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations: There are so many book to movie adaptations that I love.. here are three of my most recently read/watched. 

My Least Favourite Book to Movie Adaptations: 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The One Who Sees Me by Kandi J. Wyatt

The One Who Sees Me
By: Kandi J. Wyatt

Published: September, 2015
Published By: Vox Dei
Format Read: eBook
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction
Date Read: August 14, 2016

Rating: 2.5/5

I was sent a copy of The One Who Sees Me by Kandi J. Wyatt, from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Faru grew up as a servant in the court of King Cyning, until she was traded to a foreign Lord in exchange for his cousin. After settling into Lord Cegrol’s household, the King learns that not only is Lady Cwen the Lord’s cousin, but his wife as well. Betrayed, King Cyning sends her back, but it is decided that Faru will stay in the Lord’s service. She would be promoted to Lady Cwen’s personal handmaiden. The two would form a turbulent relationship, but Faru would find solace in Lord Cegrol, Cailean the steward’s son and her faith in The Existing One. The One Who Sees Me is the retelling of an Old Testament Biblical story.

A couple of years ago I began reading Christian fiction, mostly with a historical setting. Although I admit I’m not a religious person, so I wasn’t familiar with the Biblical story that this novel was inspired by.

The One Who Sees Me isn’t a book I would typically gravitate to, but as I read along I found myself enjoying Faru’s story. The characters were interesting to me and the fast pace made for a quick read.
The setting gave me the impression of a medieval time period, although it wasn’t exactly specified. This was somewhat problematic for me at first, as I prefer to have a more concrete image of the setting. However this gave it a fairy tale feel that will appeal to many readers.

Another aspect that kept me from giving this novel a higher rating was the inconsistencies in the language. The author often used phrases and descriptions that were true to a historical time period, but in the next instance would use more modern slang. Unfortunately this really distracted me from the story.

Those points aside, I was able to recognize the message Kandi J. Wyatt wanted to convey with Faru’s story. The One Who Sees Me shares a great message of the importance of faith and patience. With some editing, I would recommend this book to those with an interest in Biblical retellings. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books That Have Been on My TBR Since 2013

Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. 

Since I only started blogging last year, there are loads of books on my TBR from prior to that, which I haven't yet read. So I modified my list to include my top 10 books that have been on my list since I joined Goodreads in 2013. 

Top 10 Books That Have Been on My TBR Since 2013

And that isn't even half of the books that have been on my TBR since 2013. Yikes. How sad is it that this was one of the easiest TTT topics I've participated in? Haha

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Wrap-up: August 21, 2016

Offline Ramblings

Hello everyone, 

This week was a crazy one on my end, full with vehicle trouble. I got mine back from the shop a couple of days ago, only to get it home and realize something was wrong with my signal lights. Then our other vehicle crapped out. Its always one thing after another, right? Now thankfully mine is all fixed up again and fingers crossed that it stays that way. We will just have to make due with one for a while. It will be ok though.

Last night we tuned in to CBC, along with an amazing 11.7 million other Canadians to say goodbye to one of the country's most iconic bands Tragically Hip. 

Source: CBC
Earlier this year it was announced that lead singer Gord Downie (the man in the white hat) was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. So this summer the band embarked on one final, cross country tour. Tickets sold out within seconds and with such an impressive reception, CBC decided to broadcast their final concert live from the Hip's hometown of Kingston Ontario. Towns all across the country streamed the broadcast in parks, bars and movie theaters. It truly was a national event and a celebration of a band that is the epitome of Canadian music.

My Reading Progress

Books Completed:

Rating: 3.5/5. I really enjoyed the authors writing style and the small town setting. Review to come August 30, 2016.

Currently Reading

However the Bout of Books Read-a-thon begins at midnight, so I will be reading from my set TBR for that, this week. (See link below)

On the Blog
As you can see I'm trying a new look for my Sunday Wrap-up as I am hoping to better stay with the green and pink colour-scheme of my blog. 

Recent Posts:

Upcoming Posts:

Tuesday: Top 10 Tuesday: Top 10 Books That Have Been on my TBR Since 2013
Thursday: Book Review: The One Who Sees Me by Kandi J. Wyatt RATING: 2.5/5

Plus my daily Bout of Books 17 updates. 


Hosted by Book Date

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A Beauty Refined (Sapphire Brides, #2) by Tracie Peterson

A Beauty Refined (Sapphire Brides, #2)
By: Tracie Peterson

Published: July, 2016
Published By: Bethany House Publishers
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Genre: Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, Historical Romance
Date Read: August 8, 2016, 

Rating: 4/5

I was sent a copy of A Beauty Refined (Sapphire Brides, #2) by Tracie Peterson, from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Phoebe Von Bergen has led a sheltered life growing up as the only daughter of a German nobleman. Her father’s severity made her believe that all men were of the same nature. However despite his temper Phoebe loves him dearly and is more than happy to accompany him on a trip to America. Graf Von Bergen’s interest in purchasing sapphires takes him to Helena, Montana. It is there that Phoebe would meet a local lapidary Ian Harper and a charming young boy named Kenny. This stay in the American west will also reveal her father’s true colours and long kept secrets that lead to danger.

I was initially interested in a Beauty Refined due in part to the author Tracie Peterson, who I have read from in the past. The historical fiction genre was also of interest to me.

The early 20th century time period drew me in as well as the detailed descriptions of the lavish Von Bergen lifestyle. The characters were interesting with background stories that supported their reasoning’s. This was especially true for Phoebe’s na├»ve and obedient nature. Although I found she adapted to a less glamorous life in Montana a bit too fast for someone of her social standing.

I was able to predict the outcome of several situations, but the way it all played out had more excitement than I expected. This was a pleasant surprise that earned it a 4 star rating from this reviewer.

A Beauty Refined was an enjoyable read and even though it is the second book in the Sapphire Brides series, it can be read as a stand-alone novel. I look forward to reading more by Tracie Peterson in the future and would recommend this book to Christian historical fiction fans. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bout of Books 17: Sign Up!

Bout of Books
Its that time again! Bout of Books is coming up soon and I am excited to be participating again! What is Bout of Books, you ask? Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon. It is low pressure, with a lot of fun challenges. 
The read-a-thon will be held from August 22 to August 28. 
If you are interested in learning more or signing up yourself, please visit:

The last Bout of Books was held in May and I didn't have a specifically set TBR for the Read-a-thon, I just read from my monthly list and then picked up a couple books from the library.

This time around I've done a bit of pre-planning. Here is my Bout of Books TBR and my goals for the week.

My Bout-of-Books 17 TBR

And if I am successful completing these four books I will continue on with my already scheduled TBR for August. 

My Goals

  1. To complete the four books mentioned above. 
  2. To participate in as many challenges as I'm able.
  3. To visit the blogs of the other participants. 
  4. To post pictures on Instagram throughout the week.
  5. To have fun and not let myself get stressed.