We’re over halfway through this year’s reading challenge and I think I can safely say that I’ve found my favourite book of the year.

But honestly? This was a good book month. Aviation history, time travel to one of my favourite eras, the story of an incredible life, and a fun alternate-reality style novel — I would happily recommend each of these reads.

So which one was the favourite? You’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

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Happy summer everyone!

I can smell someone grilling BBQ outside of my window, and I am so ready for nice weather and sunny days spent by the lake (with a good book of course!) We’re off on a few getaways this summer so I am excitedly loading up my Kobo with new books. I’m not sure why I didn’t get onto the e-reader train earlier, because my suitcase has never been lighter!

And as always, here are a few book reviews from this past month. This is part of my 2019 Reading Challenge and while we’re now HALFWAY through (where did the time go?) you’re more than welcome to jump in! If you’re not part of the Facebook group, be sure to join us there too.
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I don’t know about you, but I usually have two or three different types of books on the go at the same time. I hop from one to the other as the mood strikes — flitting from biography to theology to general fiction. But when it comes to relaxation, there’s no genre I love more than a fast-paced suspense/mystery novel.

That’s why I was excited to review this new book: Justice Delivered by Patricia Bradley — and with its big plotlines, true-to-life characters and multiple twists and turns, this novel did not disappoint.
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Over the past two years, I’ve heard from many people who want to participate in the Reading Challenge but are scared that they won’t be able to finish a book a week. And I always give the same reply — “More important than 52 books, is setting a goal for yourself and just having fun.”

But this month, if I’m being 100% honest, the challenge has been a bit of a struggle. Less fun and more draining. Life has been busy and has thrown a few curveballs, and some days, there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. If it wasn’t for the “buffer” I built up at the beginning of the year, there may not have been five books on this month’s review.

As much as goals motivate me, sometimes we just fall short no matter how hard we try. And that’s okay. This month I had to remind myself that it’s just about having fun — no pressure. And next month? Well, we’ll just have to see. Right now, we’re taking this one book at a time.

No matter how many books you’ve read so far this year, remember that next month is a new start! Read more

“The danger hasn’t passed — it’s just changed locations.”

This new novel from Davis Bunn, “Outbreak” promises page-turning adventure as characters seek to find answers to a deadly viral outbreak. As someone who enjoys a good action book every once in a while, I was immediately hooked by the plot and eager to dive in.

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Anyone else love the smell of a book?

There’s just something about the way ink meets paper that brings such extra depth to a book. Not all books have the right kind of smell, but when they do, it’s almost magical.

We’re a third of the way through the 2019 Reading Challenge, and I have to say, this year’s challenge is a fun one! Reading a book a week has been a bit of a stretch lately (this avid bookworm can’t even believe she’s saying that) but my motto for this year has been quality over quantity — and hopefully, I’m achieving that.

So while you peruse these reviews, I’m going to get a headstart on my May reads.

If you need me, I’ll just be over here inhaling books. Read more

Another month of books checked off!

For those following along with the challenge, we are just finishing up Week 13 — which means that we are already a quarter of the way through this challenge. Can you believe it?

I feel like I’ve barely had any time to read this month, but I did manage to write up a few reviews for these lovelies. So, without any further introduction, here are my March reads:

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So, BIG news this month.

**Drumroll….**

I have now learned that you can rent library books directly onto your e-reader!

(Haha, you should see the look of disappointment on your face right now. Like, Liz, come on! That is definitely NOT big news. Quite the opposite. We’ve been renting books for years!)

Fine. Not big news for you but it is HUGE for me. This discovery resulted in me finally tip-toeing out of the “paper books only” camp and casually crossing over into the “e-readers are okay too.” As a die-hard, “readers are for overseas travel only,” sort of person, this was a big deal.

And since it’s February and I didn’t feel like tramping through the snow to the library, I therefore promptly stole my husband’s Kobo and irritated the heck out of him by messing up his reader stats. (Honestly, he should just be grateful I improved his reading speed.)

Long story short, guess who ended up with a new Kobo reader for Valentine’s Day?

This girl.

So while I figure out my new device (and spend way too much money on “bargain books,”) here are four of my February reads. As always, this is part of my 2019 Reading Challenge: 52 Books in 52 Weeks. It’s not too late to join us, so check out the Facebook Group and get reading!

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“Once We Were Strangers” is a story about the blossoming friendship between two men: Shawn and Mohammad, a writer and a Syrian refugee. This book is a tangible response to the age-old question, “Who is my neighbour?” and “How do I love them?”

We live in a world where fear presides: where reports about shootings and bombings and murder and hurt dominate the news cycle. With such uncertainty and fear, it can be difficult to know how to respond to global issues like refugees and immigration. Instead of reacting with compassion, our gut response is often to turn away in fear or to simply ignore the problem, thinking that it’s too big for any one person to solve. That’s why stories and conversations like this are so important to share.

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My son loves to read (almost as much as I do) and was so excited when I told him we got to review a book together. We spent the past week hovering by the mailbox and when this sweet story finally arrived, he was all too eager to dive in!

It’s not often that you want a book to lull you to sleep. But this lovely, little bedtime story aims to do just that!

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” is a beautifully illustrated, rhyming book that is the perfect way to end the day with your littles. Using some reverse psychology, young listeners are challenged to keep their eyes open — even if those eyelids are feeling heavy! Written by Bob Hostetler and illustrated by Mark Chambers, this “silly bedtime story” is sure to be a hit for toddlers and preschoolers alike.

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The first month of 2019 is drawing to a close and I can’t help but wonder where it’s disappeared to in such a hurry. So far, January has been full of cozy blankets and the remnants of my Christmas candy — a month of sugary fingers and good books.

This year’s 2019 Reading Challenge has started off to great success (the Facebook group has more than doubled in size) and my to-be-read pile grows longer daily. It’s a happy problem to have more books on your wish-list than you could ever hope to read. This year, I’ve decided to log my 52 books here on MommyMannegren. In addition to my reviews, I hope to jot down a few other suggestions for each of the categories if you’re looking for ideas for yourself.

Here are my January choices:
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Ever since I was young, I’ve loved a good mystery. I still remember the feel of a new Nancy Drew book in my hand: soft and smooth with unbound excitement lying in wait. There was nothing like the familiar creak of those yellow-spined stories as I’d bury my nose into their fresh pages.

Mystery. Suspense. Thrillers.

These are still the genres I gravitate towards the most; the books I pluck from library and bookstore shelves most often. That’s what drew me to this new book, Mind Games by Nancy Mehl — the allure of a rollercoaster ride of mystery and suspense.

And I have to say, I was not disappointed.

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