Happy Valentine’s Day ❤︎ What better way to celebrate than loving on the books in my life?

Last time I mentioned that I’d be linking up with Steph & Jana for Show Us Your Books this year and, therefore, labeling these posts a little differently than 2016’s monthly round-up.


The way I rate the books and how I summarize them is still the same.

Book Rating

Below I’ll include a brief summary, why I picked up the book, and what I thought. Then I give my oh-so-valuable opinion on whether or not you should read it and why. Images link to their GoodReads page (let’s be friends!). Let’s begin.

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis || ★★★★/5 the-magicians-nephew
Summary: The first book in The Chronicles of Narnia, this classic follows Digory and Polly as they discover new and old worlds, as well as the creatures that live there. | Why I Read It: I read this story a long time ago, but I’m working my way through TCofN and this book is the first. Plus it met a requirement for Erin’s Challenge. | What I Thought: I read another book in this series last year and found this one to be equally enjoyable. I love that this book is the “Genesis” of Narnia. I know not everyone likes it or cares about it, but I enjoy the religious undertones in these books. These books are short and full of storytelling, and I’ll be tackling the remaining five in the series, even though I know I’ve read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe before. It’s a smart, entertaining set of books to revisit.
You Should Read It Because… you enjoy children’s lit. or you’re a fan of C.S. Lewis or you’re in need of a quick yet meaningful fantasy series.

But Polly added, “But we are not quite as bad as that world, are we, Aslan?”
“Not yet, Daughter of Eve,” he said. “not yet. But you are growing more like it. It is not certain that some wicked one of your race will not find out a secret as evil as the Deplorable Word and use it to destroy all living things. And soon, very soon, before you are an old man and an old woman, great nations in your world will be ruled by tyrants which care no more for joy and justice and mercy than the Empress Jadis. Let your world beware. That is the warning…” -The Magician’s Nephew

Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber || ★★/5 dashing-through-the-snow
Summary: After missing their opportunity to fly to Seattle for the holidays, strangers Ashley and Dash end up sharing a rental car and making the trek north from San Francisco just before Christmas. Things prove to be a little difficult when the unlikely duo face a non-negotiable deadline, a surprise furry companion, and a mix-up with the law. | Why I Read It: I wanted a fun, festive read to kick off Erin’s Challenge. (below) | What I Thought: Holy cheeseball, Batman. This book annoyed me. Ashley annoyed me. Dash annoyed me. The law enforcement annoyed me. BLEH. I felt like the flirty conversation wasn’t realistic. I didn’t like the cat and mouse crap with the law. I just wanted there to be some action and it fell flat. *shrug*
You Should Read It Because… you’re in the mood for holiday fluff. Or you like this author? I don’t know. I won’t be picking this one up again. I don’t think this is my genre…

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin || ★★★★/5 the-westing-game
Summary: 16 “heirs and heiresses” are brought together to solve the mystery that is Sam Westing. The players include a bookie, a birdwatcher, and a bomber… but could one be a murderer, too?? | Why I Read It: I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time. I popped into the bookstore before our trip to San Antonio (as I always do before a trip ) and saw it on sale… so I bought it and tossed it in my carry-on. | What I Thought: Whew… I’m glad I tackled this book in a single day because there were SO many characters. I’ve tried to start this book a few times in my youth and I always ended up putting it down and forgetting about it. Not this time! I started figuring out the clues and mystery around page 100, but there were still enough twists to keep me entertained. I loved how the stories weaved together and the friendships developed. To be honest, there were 4 or 5 holes or unanswered questions. I wanted connects to happen where there weren’t any. I gave it four stars because of that untapped potential.
You Should Read It Because… you like the movie Clue. This is a good book for Nancy-Drew-loving pre-teens and teens (and adults)!

. . .

An update on Erin’s 6.0 Challenge:

| 5 points | Freebie: Dashing Through the Snow by Debbie Macomber
| 10 points | Starts with the letter “W”: Winter by Marissa Meyer
| 10 points | Six words in the title: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
| 15 points | Has a (mostly) green cover: The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis
| 20 points | A homonym in the title: The One by Kiera Cass
| 20 points | By your favorite author: Heartless by Marissa Meyer
| 25 points | Set in the city/town/state/territory/county/province where you live: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
| 30 points | A “Rory Gilmore” book: Atonement by Ian McEwan
| 30 points | From a genre that you’ve never read/rarely read (*thriller*): The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
| 35 points | With time travel: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Ending this post at a total of 40 points out of 200. I have about 250 pages left of Winter. I thought I’d have it done by now, but I needed a break so I picked up The Westing Game. Oh well. It’ll be done by the next one of these 😉

What did you read last month? Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia?

signatureLife According to Steph

42 thoughts on “What I Read… vol. 2

  1. The Magician’s Nephew was always my least favourite Narnia book, although it is nice to see how Narnia begun (and why there’s a random lantern there. LOL). I read the whole series as a child and never even noticed that religious aspects until I was much older.

    Ooh, I do love the movie Clue so I shall have to look into that book.


    1. I don’t think I’d see the religious thing unless I knew it was there. Maybe I would, but I’ll never know. Haha.
      The Westing Game is for a younger audience (which could explain the comparably simple plot), but it’s very enjoyable and fun to read 🙂


  2. I LOVE that you’re reading the Narnia series! I never noticed the religious aspects until I reread them a few years ago even though I read the whole series numerous times since I was 10….The Magician’s Nephew was never my favourite as a child but I did enjoy it more as an adult. Go figure.


    1. I read it as a kid a loooong time ago, mainly because I wanted to read The LWW and I couldn’t get myself to read them out of order. Haha. (Even though I read The Horse and His Boy a few months ago without the other three preceding it.) I don’t think The Magician’s Nephew is my favorite either, but I like that it completely explains the birth of Narnia.


    1. I’m so irritated with myself for not having read it prior to this past month! I remember going to start it at least twice as a pre-teen. I had a pencil and paper ready, all prepared to solve the game. Hahahahaha. I tried to turn it into something more than a fun mystery book.


  3. Debbie Macomber is just failing for me so much lately too. It’s all just too cheesy anymore – so predictable & BLAH…
    I have never read the Narnia books – I have them… just never read them. I may need to make that my summer reading goal.


    1. I just could NOT get into the flirtatious exchange. The girl annoyed me, the guy seemed too arrogant. I forced myself through that one *sigh*
      I think you’d like the Narnia series. They’re definitely aimed at kids, but they’re a pretty quick, interesting story to get lost in 🙂


    1. Hey, at least I can say I tried it. Lol. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.
      I have this running list of books that I want my kids to read someday (please, God, make them love books). The Westing Game was recently added to it. Lol (Others include The Phantom Tollbooth, Alice in Wonderland, and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.)


  4. the westing game sounds interesting.
    i haven’t read any of debbie macomber books – i like romance and love fluff when i’m in the mood for it, but her books have never called to me.


    1. I felt like there was less romance and more (uninteresting) banter and awkward flirty. Just not my style =/
      I should’ve taken an airy romance recommendation from you!


  5. I remember in elementary school we were given a few choices of books to read and The Westing Game was one of them and I know a bunch of kids loved it but I can’t remember for the life of me if I read it or not… I kind of want to now!


    1. It kind of surprises me that people were reading this in elementary school. Then again, the language and concepts weren’t necessarily complicated. That may have been when I first tried to pick it up, too. Now I’m kicking myself that I waited this long to read it. Lol


  6. I need to read C.S. Lewis series. There seems to be so much I would like about it. I have to agree I’m over Debbir Macomber books. They need to be about 40 pages and then maybe I could manage 🙂


    1. Yes! I probably would’ve handled 40 pages of that cheese-fest much better than +200. Lol
      The Chronicles of Narnia take no time to get through so if you have the least bit of interest I say go for it!


  7. I reread The Westing Game last year for the first time as an adult and enjoyed it so much (also love the movie Clue, haha). Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library is a kind of similar (but different) middle grade book I really enjoyed too that has a fun mystery/adventure element to it.


    1. Ooooh, I’ll have to check that one out, too! There are some real gems in books for that age-range. I know it’s below my reading level, but it’s nice to break up serious “adult” books with fun ones like that!


    1. Ha, it makes sense that you’d have no interest in them then 🙂 I tend to read mostly fantasy and historical fiction. (Although I mix it up every now and then.)


    1. I think my brother got the set years ago and somehow it ended up in our house on my book shelf, lol. (Well… probably because I’m a book thief- oops.) Unfortunately, two of the books are missing. Hahaha. That’s what I get I guess.


    1. Funny enough, I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of the movies all the way through.
      (I also read that there was a case of animal abuse or neglect on the set of one of them. I can’t remember which one and I can’t be 100% sure I’m right…. so don’t hold me to that. I haven’t seen The Hobbit because of animal abuse allegations =/ )


  8. The Westing Game sounds so interesting! I really love mysteries and thrillers, so I’ll definitely be picking it up! And great job on Erin’s Book Challenge so far! Winter was a long book, but totally worth reading all the pages! It was a great end to the series!


    1. Thank you 🙂 I know some people are already done with the challenge but I am just not that kind of person. I don’t read as fast or often as I’d like to.
      I finished Winter two or three days ago and I am SO SAD it’s over! (I just finished Stars Above, too.) It was such an incredible series! On to Meyer’s Heartless.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I loved Narnia as a child and can’t wait to re-read them someday as an adult (I haven’t re-read them all yet, but a few of them). Predictably, The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe is my favourite.


    1. I think I read the first three or four as a kid. I’m trying to work my way through them now. I didn’t go in order, but I’ve check off The Horse and His Boy and The Magician’s Nephew 🙂


  10. I have my mom’s Chronicles of Narnia set from when she was a kid, and I have yet to read them. I really need to! I have also heard of The Westing Game before and it sounds like something I would enjoy.


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