The Lunar Chronicles Stories – Part 1

518glH0BM0LTitle: Glitches (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5); The Little Android (The Lunar Chornicles #0.6); The Queen’s Army (The Lunar Chronicles #1.5)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publisher: Felwel andFriends 2012

Genre: YA Scifi

Pages: 31; 35; 47

Rating: 5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – Romance set in the future; Fairytale Retelling; 52 Books – W49

The enchantment continues. . . .
The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories – and secrets – that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?
With six stories – two of which have never before been published – and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

After reading Cinder, I decided to pick up Stars Above so I could read the short stories that take place before the first book or right after. “Glitches” was a fun little introduction to Cinder and her life before the events of the first book. We get to find out how she arrived in New Beijing and met her new family. It also drops some great hints are to who she really is. “The Queen’s Army” gave us a glimpse into the creation of Levana’s Lunar army. Very interested to see more of the Lunar side. And finally, “The Little Android” was a great retelling of The Little Mermaid. Now I can move on to reading Scarlet.

The Lunar Chronicles

  • #0.5 Glitches
  • #0.6 The Little Android
  • #1 Cinder
  • #1.5 The Queen’s Army
  • #2 Scarlet
  • #2.5 Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky
  • #3 Cress
  • #3.5 Fairest
  • #3.6 Stars Above
  • #4 Winter

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Quentin: 10 Weeks


Doctor office selfie

Likes: Snuggles; chewing on his blankets; any attention from Arthur; being outside

Dislikes: Gas; loud noises


Rocking the Star Trek onesie before it’s too small

Sleeping: Last night, Quentin slept 6 hours straight for the first time. It was glorious! Here’s hoping we get more longer stretches at night from now on.


Loving that expression

Eating: Q’s turned into a snacker during the day. He eats 1-2 ounces and then hangs out for awhile. About 30 minutes later, he’ll drink another 1-2 ounces. A bit annoying, but I’d rather he do this during the day than at night.


So peaceful

Playing: I’ve been putting Q onto his playmat more often. He loves staring at the hanging animals. He’s even grabbed them a few times. Now if I could get him to enjoy tummy time…


I think he can get a few weeks’ wear out of this while in Indiana

Milestones: Smiling, talking, grabbing objects…


Riding the train with daddy and Arthur

Schedule: Not really any schedule during the day except for us trying to put him in his crib by 10pm.


Train selfie with momma

Out and About: Wednesday we traveled over to Niles for the Train of Lights. Q loved all the lights. Thursday was went on an epic road trip up to Martinez to pick up his birth certificate. While out, we made sure to take care of the rest of our errands including stops at Michael’s and Target. Plus, we popped into Chick-Fil-A for lunch. Arthur played and Q watched the kids for awhile before falling asleep. We ended the week with our big Secret Snowflake party. Q slept through almost the entire thing.


Loves that elephant


Little smile!


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

51qclyBhMyLTitle: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

Author: David Sedaris

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company 2013

Genre: Nonfiction

Pages: 275

Rating: 3/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Popsugar – Recommended by a family member; 52 Books – W48

A guy walks into a bar car and…

From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

Sedaris remembers his father’s dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy.

Hmmm… So I really enjoyed Sedaris’s other books, but this one fell a bit flat for me. The essays felt a bit tired of overdone. I couldn’t really connect with his stories. I was very distracted while reading this one. I couldn’t seem to focus.

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Life Right Now #36

As I look outside my window: I see some birds walking along the the top of our fence. They really like our yard. We must have some good bugs back there.
Right now I am: Prepping to go to the Secret Snowflake. Arthur’s super excited!
On my bedside table: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon (need to get back to this one); A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander
On my tv this week: J and I started Legends of Tomorrow. We also enjoyed Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Drunk History episode. So much joy!
Listening to: The Hamilton Mixtapes. So much joy!
On the menu for this week:

  • Monday – Ham and Cheese Grilled Sandwich
  • Tuesday – Kielbasa Skillet; Rolls
  • Wednesday – Cajun Stuffed Chicken; Parmesan Potatoes; Brussel Sprouts
  • Thursday – Tater Tot Casserole
  • Friday – Leftovers
  • Saturday – Taco Soup
  • Sunday – Loaded Baked Potatoes

On my to do list:

  • Prep shoebox swap
  • Start packing
  • Bake cookies for exchange
  • Send first round of Christmas cards
  • Gather library books for return
  • Send secret santa gift
  • Formulate swap card ideas
  • Work on Project Life spreads

Happening this week:

  • Monday – Oakland Zoo Visit!
  • Tuesday – Home day; MVPA Board Meeting
  • Wednesday – Home day; Shoebox Swap
  • Thursday – Cookie Exchange
  • Friday – Home day
  • Saturday – Shoebox swap and crop day; Oakland Zoo Lights
  • Sunday – Home day

What I am creating: I’m in the middle of 30 Days of Lists, 12 Days of Coloring, and The Happy Planner Instagram Challenge. Very exciting, but I need to stay on top of my challenges.
My simple pleasures: Coffee, coffee, and more coffee
Looking around the house: There is crap everywhere. I need to do a systematic sweep through the house before leaving for Indiana.
From the camera: My brain dump…



Monthly Life Goals December


Let’s check in on November’s goals and my progress.

  • Daily walk or Momma Strong — I’m calling this a success. I didn’t do it everyday, but I did it more than half.
  • Read 1500 pages —Success! I even reached 2063 pages read.
  • Take daily photos/memory recording — Success!
  • Prep and send cards for November —Success!

December’s Goals:

  • Participate in The Hook on Momma Strong — I signed up the other day. The program starts on December 5th. I’m determined to participate fully.
  • Read 1500 pages — Another low bar for my reading goal.
  • Prep and send cards for December
  • Finish 30 Days of Lists — Excited to do this again
  • December Bucket List — I used some fun mambi stickers and a page in my Happy Planner to create a winter bucket list.


November 2016 Wrap-up and Monthly TBR

Monthly TBR

November’s TBR Pile (6/10):

  1. MVPA Book Club Selection: The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
  2. Series Pick: A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander
  3. Nonfiction Pick: Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink
  4. Carry-over: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Jar Pick: Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  6. Book Club Selection (December): Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
  7. Added: The Last Honest Seamstress by Gina Robinson
  8. Added: Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  9. Added: Revival Vol. 1
  10. Added: Revival Vol. 2

Picture Book Roundup:

1,000,000 Page Goal

Monthly Total: 2063 pages
Pages Remaining: 737,394 pages

Current Read – The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo

Books I Gave Up On 

Challenges Completed  

Books bought/received 

2016 Total Spent: $21.25

Comments – November’s reading sucked majorly… Hoping to actually finish some books in December.

December’s TBR Pile:

  1. MVPA Book Club Selection: The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
  2. MVPA Book Club Selection (February): Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
  3. Series Pick: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon
  4. Nonfiction Pick: ???
  5. Carry-over: The Lady and Her Monsters by Roseanne Montillo
  6. Jar Pick: A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander
  7. Jar Pick: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer


Revival Vol. 1-2

51DRmyUzGsL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Revival Volume 1: You’re Among Friends,  Volume 2: Live Like You Mean It

Author: Tim Seeley and Mike Norton

Publisher: Image 2012; 2013

Genre: Graphic Novel

Pages: 128; 128

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: Graphic Novel

For one day in rural central Wisconsin, the dead came back to life. Now it’s up to Officer Dana Cypress to deal with the media scrutiny, religious zealots, and government quarantine that has come with them. In a town where the living have to learn to deal with those who are supposed to be dead, Officer Cypress must solve a brutal murder, and everyone, alive or undead, is a suspect.

For one day in rural central Wisconsin, the dead came back to life. Now, the living and the recently-returned struggle to maintain a sense of normalcy, amidst political and religious conflicts.

51YjP8louKL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Another random pick from the library shelves. And this one was fantastic. A murder mystery, a small town with secrets, a interesting cast of characters, and a big supernatural twist. I was hooked from page one and sped through Volumes 1 and 2 over the course of the afternoon and evening. I was riveted. I’m intrigued by the larger questions about life and death, morality, and the meaning of life. More than just a comic book, but aren’t they all. Definitely need to continue reading this series.


Graphic Novel 2016Signature

Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink

51yNFMVak9L._SX303_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Five Days at Memorial

Author: Sheri Fink

Publisher: Crown Publishers 2013

Genre: Nonfiction

Pages: 558

Rating:  5/5 stars

Reading Challenges: 52 Books – W47

In the tradition of the best investigative journalism, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs 5 days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the reader into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and maintain life amid chaos.

After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several of those caregivers faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths.

Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days, bringing the reader into a hospital fighting for its life and into a conversation about the most terrifying form of health care rationing.

Been meaning to pick this one up for months and I finally got around to it. What an amazingly thought-provoking book. Definitely a 5 star read. Fink’s research into reconstructing what actually happened at Memorial during and after Hurricane Katrina is detailed and thorough. We journey with the employees and patients through the harrowing experience of a breakdown in communication and survival. It took me two weeks to get through, not because he’s a bad book, but because there is so much information to process. Very fascinating. I warn potential readers that the topic is very heavy. This is not a good beach read.

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