Thursday, December 31, 2015

January 2016 schedule

1 January 2016
The readers of Broken Wheel recommend

2 January 2016
Coloring book review: The Time Garden

3 January 2016
Children's book review: Win or Lose I love you

4 January 2016
ebook review: Firsts

5 January 2016
Top Ten Tuesday: Resolution edition

6 January 2016
Book/movie review: If I stay

7 January 2016
Thursday Thoughts: My book rating system

8 January 2016
Coloring book review: Whatever is lovely

9 January 2016
Coloring book review: Every Little Thing

10 January 2016
ebook review: The Wisest one in the room

11 January 2016
ebook review: Up to this Pointe

12 January 2016
Top Ten Tuesday: No Regrets Edition

13 January 2016
Book review: Elsewhere

14 January 2016
Thursday thoughts: My Favorite bloggers

15 January 2016
ebook review: Alice takes back wonderland

16 January 2016
ebook review: Like Candy

17 January 2016
ebook review: Manga Classics presents Emma

18 January 2016
ebook review: Chloe in India

19 January 2016
Top Ten Tuesday: new to the queue edition

20 January 2016
ebook review: Hidden Gates

21 January 2016
Thursday thoughts: 10 things about me

22 January 2016
audiobook review: Siddhartha

23 January 2016
Q&A Creative journal review

24 January 2016
ebook review: Fuck Feelings

25 January 2016
ebook review: Europa Journal

26 January 2016
nothing yet!

27 January 2016
Life is... 40 day devotional

28 January 2016
Thursday thoughts: An Open Letter to Office Supplies

29 January 2016
Book review: Liar

30 January 2016
Plant seeds, Grow roots, know happiness review

31 January 2016
February 2016 schedule

Thursday Thoughts: How I became a reader

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts, a thing I'm going to aim to do weekly. Currently looking for a cohost who can handle the linky side of things and make this an official meme!

This Week: How I became a reader

I was raised in an intelligent family. My dad, who came to America from Bangladesh. And my mom, who became a teacher and then an assistant principal and is currently a principal at an elementary school. When my younger sister was born, I read the ABCs to her over and over because I wanted her to be smart. When I went to Kindergarten, I was already reading. 
I don't know if I was self conscious or not, but my teacher told me I used tto read out loud on the carpet, and then when she actually came around trying to find out who was reading, I would stop. 
Fast forward to first grade. The year of twisting teeth out of my mouth to get money and trying to convince other students that I knew how to read in my head.
Every summer my mother took us to the library and we took part in a reading challenge to get prizes. We went to Curious George's birthday and every time we grew out of a reading level, we would take our books, sell them at the bookstore, and use the money to get more books.
I wanted to read every book that had ever been written. But once my tetachers knew I was reading at a third grade reading level I wasn't allowed to catch up on all the second grade books I hadn't read yet.
In middle school no one liked me. I liked precious few people. I mostly read under a tree or in a hallway or in the choir room.
In high school I had a pair of pants with very big pockets. I had three books in my backpack, two in my purse, and one in either one of those pockets. 

So mostly I'd like to thank my family and poor social skills for becoming a reader.

Next Week: My book rating system

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Book review: You are doing a freaking great job

The perfect gift, and the easiest gift.because we all know someone who deserves a pat on the back, a big thumbs-up, or just a special thank-you! You Are Doing a Freaking Great Job is a vibrant, colorful, pocket-size book of encouragement. Created by more than 20 artists and designers.from the well-known Etsy favorites Emily McDowell and Mary Kate McDevitt, to emerging talents Lindsay Whitehead and J. Zachary Keenan.this powerful little book is filled with nearly 200 uplifting and inspiring quotes, lyrics, and words of advice rendered in the original hand-lettered style of art that is pinned and repinned on Pinterest and sold on Etsy. 

My Review:

This little book is adorable. I wouldn't buy it for the quotes themselves because the internet is full of affirmations and subscriptions for affirmations should you want a daily thing. But the pictures that accompany the quotes are great and it's small enough that you can tear a page out to stick into a loved one's lunch box or briefcase. Overall, this is a good gift for the price I got it at (1.00 at the book outlet) and small enough to rest by the computer or fit in a purse.
Content rating: 5
Cover rating: 4

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Top ten tuesday: the next 6 months edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week: Top ten anticipated releases for the first half of 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

Book review; Unleash your inner company

Unleash Your Inner Company provides an innovative, proven, step-by-step process for anyone who aspires to start and grow their own business. Author John Chisholm—president of the worldwide MIT Alumni Association—brings an insider’s view that distills three decades of successful, serial entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. His book combines practical principles, entertaining anecdotes, deep insights, challenging exercises, and illuminating graphics to guide the reader in conceiving, designing, building, testing, and scaling up the ideal business for them.
Many books address passion in startups; only this book shows how to turn passion and perseverance into a loop of increasingly positive results. Aspiring entrepreneurs have more resources than they realize; Unleash Your Inner Company helps them discover those advantages. Readers learn how to accelerate their learning and how different is better than better. The book also advises the reader on what to look for in a cofounder, how to avoid competitors, when best to raise money, and what they can learn from Apple, Google, Facebook, Uber, and Pinterest.
Unleash Your Inner Company is the only book the reader will need, regardless of their background, industry, or continent, to start the business that best fits their skills, passions, goals, and opportunities—in short, the right business to start now.

My Review:

I got this book through a goodreads giveaway. Normally I'd rate a book lower if it doesn't pertain to my life. But the cool thing about this field guide for entrepreneurs is that you don't even have to have the slightest idea what your business would be about at the start of this book. Chisholm walks you through literally every step of the startup, requiring only the ability to become passionate about something and persistence. 

I did enjoy the many visuals and graphs throughout the book, along with question and answer segments and question without answer segments designed to help you develop your startup. While still not quite a book for everyone, definitely an important book within its niche.


Sunday, December 27, 2015

Book review; scouting for the reaper

Each of the characters in Scouting for the Reaper faces an unanticipated challenge: transporting a truckload of penguins across the country, arranging a proper Jewish burial for the remains of Gregor Samsa, selling tombstones dressed as a Girl Scout. These stories explore the domestic and professional adventures of people in over their heads, while leavening their struggles with humor.

Jacob M. Appel is the author of more than two hundred published short stories and is a past winner of the Boston Review Short Fiction Competition.

Buy on Amazon

My Review:

I got this book from a goodreads giveaway.
This quaint little book has a story for everyone. I obviously didn't love every single story in the book, because I'm not everyone. However, for the most part, I can definitely say I liked all off the stories. Appel shows off his writing skills by showing us character development, detailed settings, and multiple distinctive character voices in 20 pages or less. I'd not only recommend this book for lovers of short stories, but also writers looking for authors to study or get examples of variety from.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

book review: The sea is wide; a Memoir of caregiving

When Rundy Purdy was twenty-four he began caring for his grandfather who was sick with Alzheimer's. This started a three year battle against inevitable decline, a journey across confused days and long nights. With compassion, hope, and a strong dose of gritty realism, The Sea is Wide: A Memoir of Caregiving tells the story of how a grandfather and his grandson crossed the wide sea of Alzheimer's. It is a tale of losses, but even more of things found in spite of what is lost. It is about giving bedtime stories, hugs, and a lot of coffee. It is a story of laughter even in the presence of sadness. The sea of Alzheimer's is wide, but it can be crossed. In writing that is by turns uplifting and poignant, Rundy shares his journey of perseverance and love.

Buy on Amazon

My Review:

I got this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.

So, I don't know anyone who has lost their mind yet. I myself am scared of getting old. According to this book, for good reason. I'm sure to an older crowd this is a lovely memoir of a son caring for his father. To me it's a reminder of why I'm glad I'm not an only child nor my parent's favorite, and validated my already existing fear of age.

Maybe it's my generation's mindset. Maybe it's me. But this was certainly a good book for halloween--I can't imagine ever having to do what Purdy did.

Friday, December 25, 2015

ebook review: Saved by the bell

The classic TV series gets an update for today’s brand new high-schoolers as the coolest kids at Bayside High start their freshman year!

All your favorite characters – Zack, Slater, Kelly, Lisa, Screech and Jessie (and Mr. Belding, of course!) – are starting freshman year at Bayside High, trading in brick phones and mullets for iPhones and Twitter accounts. Does Lisa’s fashion show get on the air, and will Screech ever leave her alone? Will Jessie get that A+? And, most importantly, who’s Kelly going to go out with – preppy Zack or new star athlete A.C. Slater? It’s alright, ‘cause we’re saved by the bell!

My Review:
I loved this ebook. It was a bit small on my smartphone, but still readable if you double click the pictures and short enough not to matter too much. Anyone with a tablet or kindle won't have any problems.
The storylines and drawing style are reminiscent of the Archie comics, which is great. And while reading this as a fan of Saved by the bell was enjoyable, the show relies on speed between scenes and audio cues for the humor, so a little was lost there.
Overall, if I saw this in the impulse aisle at Wal-Mart I would probably get it. If I had limited funds and went to the bookstore, I probably would pass on it.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday Thoughts: An open letter to Santa

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts, a thing I'm going to aim to do weekly. Currently looking for a cohost who can handle the linky side of things and make this an official meme!

This week: An open letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I haven't believed in you ever since I wrote that story about you retiring and the elves doing all the work until a 16-year-old girl came to replace you. But I have a lot of books on my tbr that I would love for Christmas. And since I know that sounds totally selfish of me, get a book that my husband will like too so we can share. I'd say something about my daughter here, but I wouldn't want to break the tradition of presents from Santa having mom's handwriting and signature wrapping style on them. Also, I'm going to need a signature wrapping style before my daughter is old enough to have memories.

Anyway, you know I'll have cookies for you. Stay away from my daughter's milk. Probably won't be any carrots because the only way I can get my family to eat vegetables is if they think I don't buy them and shred them up into various recipes that they don't think would ever have vegetables.

Say hi to the spouse for me,


Next week: How I became a reader

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

ebook review: 10 commitments for dads

Child rearing has never been easy, and if you're a dad today, trustworthy advice on good parenting and godly parenting skills can be hard to find. Author and speaker Josh McDowell has spent over 50 years successfully working with young people, including raising his own four children. He mentors you in guiding your children into 10 practical life commitments that will enable them to confidently face a scary world and an uncertain future. You can help your kids know how to love God, love themselves, and love others make right choices resolve conflict and respond properly to authority understand sex and relationships as God designed them deal humbly with success and graciously with defeat
Leading your kids with God's wisdom and practicing good parenting skills is the best way to love them. 10 Commitments for Dads gives you a straightforward, concise resource for keeping your children in the center of your heart.
Buy on Amazon

My Review:

I got this book for review from the publisher through netgalley.
This book seems to be for new dads what Swimming Upstream is for new moms. There's a lot of worry out there in the world, but even if you have a great support system and a little money, raising a kid can seem as overwhelming as bringing a new life into the world of The Walking Dead. (Thank you, dear husband, for making me watch that and get THOSE nightmares.) All kidding aside, the author definitely lends a friendly voice and affirmations telling fellow dads "hey, you got this. Here's a couple pointers, but do you bro." This is a Christian based book, so maybe don't go buying it as a wedding gift for every single man you know. But definitely buy it for someone, even if just yourself.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Top ten tuesday: Santa baby edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week:Top ten books I want from Santa.

ebook review: Etiquette and espionage

It's one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It's quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.
Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners--and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine's, young ladies learn to finish...everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year's education.
Buy on Amazon

My Review:

I've been wanting to read this book for a while, but my husband promised to stop calling my reading an addiction as long as I didn't spend ALL the rent money on books. So, I waited for a sale. Was it worth the wait?
We've got a steampunk spy school in a world with vampires, werewolves, and ghosts. What can go wrong? Let's talk about Sophronia. A unique name for sure, from what I know of the word it's a type of orchid that originally bloomed in Brazil, and then grew out of control and almost took over the world! I kid. But certainly a fitting name for our heroine here.
Dimity is also a lovely name - and far easier than Sophronia to read without disrupting flow - bit I feel she might have deserved a more fitting name than, essentially, curtain fabric.
For the most part I read through this book without any breaks, except when something funny happens, like breaking a rule and getting punished for getting caught rather than for breaking curfew, for example.
I adored the climax and ending of this book and very much look forward to the next one.
Overall: buy the whole series at once.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Book Review: Purge

From acclaimed author Sarah Darer Littman, a striking story about a girl's recovery from bulimia in the tradition of CUT, PERFECT, and GIRL INTERRUPTED.

Janie Ryman hates throwing up. So why does she binge eat and then stick her fingers down her throat several times a day? That’s what the doctors and psychiatrists at Golden Slopes hope to help her discover. But first Janie must survive everyday conflicts between the Barfers and the Starvers, attempts by the head psychiatrist to fish painful memories out of her emotional waters, and shifting friendships and alliances among the kids in the ward.

Buy on Amazon

My Review:

I got this book as part of a Thrift Books haul.
I'll be the first to tell you I'm a sucker for eating disorder books and started reading this with the intention of rating a five. But between the lack of character development and laughable depiction of treatment centers (I've been in a few), I just wasn't that into it. I don't see this book changing or even trying to change anyone's life--if anything, this is the kind of triggering fodder 'pro-anas' live for. Cannot recommend.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Book review: Skinny

Do you ever get hungry? Too hungry to eat?

Holly's older sister, Giselle, is self-destructing. Haunted by her love-deprived relationship with her late father, this once strong role model and medical student, is gripped by anorexia. Holly, a track star, struggles to keep her own life in balance while coping with the mental and physical deterioration of her beloved sister. Together, they can feel themselves slipping and are holding on for dear life.

This honest look at the special bond between sisters is told from the perspective of both girls, as they alternate narrating each chapter. Gritty and often wryly funny, Skinny explores family relationships, love, pain, and the hunger for acceptance that drives all of us.

Buy on Amazon

My Review:

I bought this book! With my own money! Don' worry, I didn't get too crazy. I got this and  other books all for about 15.00 USD at
A lot of eating disorder books focus a lot on the person who is sick, with family as an afterthought. What I like about Skinny is it focuses on Giselle, who struggles with ednos, and holly, her sister who has a disability but is otherwise healthy. The story pulls you in not only with the author's awesome writing style and Giselle's drama, but with a powerful family narrative that has you attached to the characters and wanting more if them. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially after the disaster that was Purge.

Friday, December 18, 2015

ebook review: 10 ways to say I love you

To have and to hold from this day forward, to love and to cherish...
That's where all the romance novels end, but it's not the end of your love story. The wedding vows are just the beginning of your marriage. You've made the choice to be with your spouse. To maintain a healthy relationship, you'll need to keep making wise choices...from this day forward.
Author and speaker Josh McDowell has been learning that lesson for more than 40 years, and now he shares the insightful, practical choices that make a marriage thrive. Learn the power of choosing tomake your spiritual life a priority resolve conflicts quickly keep your love life fresh master the art of communication become a great listener

This straightforward, concise resource will teach you how to love and cherish your spouse. You'll never regret investing in your marriage!

Buy on Amazon

My review:

What I like about this book is that the author lists the ten methods for better love right in the beginning of the book. I scanned over them, thinking about the marriage between my husband and I. 9 of them I was able to check off, but the unchecked box was the very first one listed, pertaining to making sure your relationship with God is squared. Which makes sense. After all, he's the one who introduced us. The rest of the list I learned naturally along my marriage, but I realize some people don't have that kind of luck. If you feel like your love is faltering after 10 days or 10 years, read this book before giving up. You and your partner deserve it.
received from netgalley for an honest review

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts: Bookish Gifts

Welcome to Thursday Thoughts, a thing I'm going to aim to do weekly. Currently looking for a cohost who can handle the linky side of things and make this an official meme!

This Week: Bookish Gifts

This week we're heading over to or any other favorite retail site to find the perfect gift for that reader in your life. BookishGifts did not ask me to write this post, or even knows I exist. I just really like the site.

Next week: An open letter to Santa

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

ebook review: 50 things you need to know about Satan and demons

Bible Professor Mark Muska gives short, clear answers to the most-asked questions about Satan and demons, revealing exactly what God's Word does and doesn't say.

Buy on Amazon

Add to Goodreads

My Review:

I got a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Since I've been re-introduced to God by my husband, I've been drawn to books about Christianity. Namely, books on spiritual warfare so I can win any battles that might lead me away from God again. I'm always super picky about the credibility of the books I read, especially on this subject. Mark didn't disappoint, with scriptures that were cited, not paraphrased, and a simple language that welcomed me instead of seeming overwhelming. As I read this book, keeping in mind how I had strayed from God in the first place, I found myself highlighting parts and going "yeah, that sounds right. That's about what happened."
Any new Christian, or new-again Christian, or even aged Christians who haven't done any independent studying on the faith should start with this book.

Monday, December 14, 2015

top ten tuesday: ultimate list edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.  This week: Top ten books I read in 2015 overall.