Reindeer Readathon 2019

You may have seen or heard about the new Christmas themed readathon that’s started up this year. It’s called the Reindeer Readathon hosted by Breakeven Books (Leader of Team Mistletoe), Melted Books (Leader of Team Snowflake), Savy Writes Books (Leader of Team Stockings) and Donna Tsundoku (Leader of Team Nutcracker).

I loved the sound of it so I thought I’d sign myself up for my first EVER readathon! And promptly got assigned to the Nutcracker team led by the fun Donna.

We were given 9 prompts and can get awarded bonus points if one of our books happens to be over 500 pages long. None of mine are, but I’ll see if I can get through some other stuff to be able to read Outlander to land that one. You can see the specific details here:

Most of the books I’ve chosen to read for this readathon are ones I have scheduled for reviews in January or February. Since I need to read them in preparation for their scheduled reviews I figured there’s no harm in using them for the readathon.

I don’t believe there’s a rule against that. And I still managed to squeeze in a couple I don’t have reviews scheduled for.

I chose Light of Spirit for this one as most of my books are 300-400 pages and it was on my list to read and review in February.

Dance of the Heart is in the same series as Light of Spirit and is the ONLY book I could find in my TBR that revolves around, or involved the theme of music or dance.

The Convenient Felstone Marriage hasn’t moved around my shelves MUCH. But I got this from Jenni from a competition I won on my birthday earlier this yr.

Since I’ve rearranged my bookshelves a few times since then I figured it works!

From what I can tell of the blurb, Perfect Match has a strong female character. It’s also on my list of books to read and have a review ready for the tour that’s scheduled for January.

I’ll be reading Death Takes a Holiday at Pemberley Hall for this one. Based on the blurb I believe it’ll have an impact on me.

It’s also an author request that I’ve got scheduled for a review in January.

Miss Amelia’s Mistletoe Marquees was an obvious choice for this one. I read a lot of romance but it was the only one that didn’t fall into any of the other categories.

And I was also asked to review it by the author so it’s scheduled for a review in January.

Another author request (although this time I think it’s scheduled for February) for this one. Although I chose it more because I don’t have many books that have a pretty cover and I really do like the cover Nicola has had done!

I don’t have much in the way of graphic novels. I’ve also never read one before so I thought this would be a challenge to find one I could read.

Then I remembered I got a copy of the Vampire Academy graphic novel when I bought the series.

Of course this one needs red in the cover. I decided that since one layer of the cake is red it works!

Also. It’s scheduled for a book tour in January.

I hope you’re looking forward to hearing about my progress with this. I’m hoping to do a weekly wrap up so you can track my progress and get a feel for how I found the books. Without spoiling them for their coming reviews of course!

Wrap Up – October

October has been a very stressful month for me. Not only have I spent a lot of it sick with that damned cough that won’t leave me alone (I’ve been on anti-biotics for 2 weeks), I’ve also been busy trying to finish off my Diploma.

I have 3 more assessments to write and submit, although I have 2 that haven’t been signed off yet as complete. But fingers crossed by November 22 I’ll be 100% signed off and complete with a new qualification!

I purposely took a quiet month to focus on my Diploma. And November is much of the same because I won’t be 100% done until December.

My Fav

As much as I love Christmas (to the point that my partner jumps between me and Christmas decorations to stop me buying any more) I feel like Zapata takes the cake this month.

As a debut author, I was expecting Harper’s novel to be average. I’m not saying the story would be bad. But from my experience, debut author’s writing and editing needs some improvements.

Instead I was knocked out of the park.

I’m even wanting to buy a physical copy so my partner can read this as well because I think it might just be what he needs to tip from YA to Adult novels. I’m not saying that YA books are bad. But he’s 38 and hasn’t read Adult books yet when I know there are so many he’d like!

My Least Fav

Without a doubt Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is my least favourite this month. I actually read this in January/February but saved it until I needed to fill in a week in case I fell behind my reading schedule.

I mentioned it in the review. But I honestly don’t understand how this won so many awards!

It was a great book in terms of highlighting the importance of recognising and not victimising mental health victims. But it missed the mark since they never tell you what she’s suffering from which just makes it worst.

I’ve seen so many assumptions of what she’s suffering from. From schizophrenia to Asperger’s. Problem is.

It’s just caused more arguments and leaves people frustrated and divided when this book should have united us.

What’s coming

Not a whole lot this coming month.


I have a few reviews and I managed to squeeze in a couple extra. But I won’t be doing anything extra. I need to focus on my Diploma and pass.

I really don’t wanna have to redo either of these last two units next yr!

My 2019 Goals

Now that we’re 10 month’s in here’s how I’m doing with my goals!

  1. I’ve surpassed my initial and edited reading goals. I honestly didn’t think I’d read this much this yr!
  2. I’ve finished 2 out of 3 books for the Aussie Author Challenge and figured out I have a few different male Aussie authors in my TBR pile. So some time before the end of the yr I’m going to read and review one of them! And it’s not going to be a Matthew Rielly book even though I have more than 10 of his books on my bookshelf. Confession. They are my partners and I’m not in the mood for one of his books. They are a bit too YA for my normal tastes.
  3. I kinda got a start on my series review. And since I’ve been studying these haven’t done so well but I’ve scheduled to pick this up again with a bunch of already written reviews for series next yr. I’ll update you on this at the start of 2020.
  4. Well I guess in a way I’ve made progress. Being off sick for like 2 months isn’t really helping. I’m hoping that two weeks of antibiotics will let me get back into exercise coz I REALLY miss it! Fingers crossed I get there by Christmas!

2019 Midyear Book Freak Out!

I saw this type of post over on Anna’s Scones and Tomes blog and loved it. I thought it was a great way to review what you’ve read so far along with some other fun bookish themes. Since I loved it I figured I’d steal it and Anna was happy to let me thank fully!

Best book I’ve read?

So this was a bit of a tough decision, but I’m going to have to say The Wrong kind of Love by Lexi Ryan since my other one is already getting mention elsewhere hehehe. I got this one on NetGalley and I absolutely loved it. Enough to go and buy the rest of the series immediately!

Best sequel I’ve read?

Legends of Persia, Son of the Moon and Storms of Babylon definitely need to go here. I’ve LOVED this whole series and I honestly can’t wait to get more! Seriously! Go and read my reviews of the series then go and get them yourself!

What new release I haven’t read yet but want to?

Crazy for Your Love is the latest book in the series I mentioned before by Lexi Ryan. I’ve yet to buy and read this due to my ridiculous reading commitments this winter (northern hemisphere’s summer) so I’ll see how I go with getting around to that one!

What is my most anticipated new release for the second half of 2019?

There’s a few books I’m hoping are coming out later this year including:

  • If it’s Only Love by Lexi Ryan
  • A new series by A Gavazzoni
  • The sequel to The Concordat by Sean Heary

Biggest disappointment I’ve read?

The sequel to An Unconventional Affair, An Unconventional Affair: A Risk Worth Sharing. I’d been looking forward to this since I’d finished the first book and this one just really let me down. It wasn’t what I was expecting it to be and it felt like some of the character moves were made just to tick inclusion boxes rather than to add to the story in a meaningful way.

Biggest surprise I’ve read?

Probably After the Green Withered by Kristin Ward. Given it’s a Young Adult novel I expected it to be teenier and it actually wasn’t. It was deep, well thought out, complex and so relevant to so many environmental things going on at the moment.

You can also check out my interview with Kristin and my review of the sequel Burden of Truth.

Favourite new author I’ve read?

I’d have to say either Lexi Ryan or Kristin Ward. Both their books blew me away and had me grasping for more. While Zoe Ashwood was VERY close behind them!

Newest fictional crush I’ve read?

O this is easy! Seth from The Wedding Planner by Eve Devon! I just loved his kinda cocky but genuinely nice personality. It reminds me of my partner, but he sounds like he has a way better package than my man. Not that I’m complaining about my guy! My guy has a good 10 years on Seth so good luck to Seth holding onto that body when he’s almost 40!

Newest favourite character I’ve read?

My newest would probably be Maddie from The Secret Cove in Croatia by Julie Caplin. She’s so comfortable in her skin (even though it’s not the so-called perfect size), she can have fun and she doesn’t pretend to be anything or anyone other than who she is. That kind of self-acceptance is something we should all strive for, I think.

Book that made me cry reading it?

So, I’m not really a crier. Like, the Notebook didn’t make me cry even in that final scene where they die together and then you see the mouse/rat. But if anything, it was probably Probably The Best Kiss In The World by Pernille Hughes got the closest.

Book that made me happy reading it?

Spring Skies over Bluebell Castle by Sarah Bennett. Not only was it set in spring with all the flowers coming alive, relationships blossoming etc. It was just such a great feel good book, even with the obvious romantic blunder along the way.

Favourite book to movie adaption I saw?

So, I haven’t read the book yet, but it is on my TBR list, but Crazy Rich Asians. I didn’t actually get around to watching that until this year and I loved it. Like all my Asian friends (although most of them are Vietnamese…) loved this movie and wouldn’t stop raving about it that I had to keep reminding them not to spoil it for me. But yes, I did love this one and I can’t wait to (eventually) get around to reading it to see how it differs.

Favourite review I’ve written this year?

Depending on how you interpret this it could be either An Impossible Thing Called Love by Belinda Missen (she’s an Aussie and I wasn’t expecting that) for a few reasons or To the Stars and Back by Camilla Isley. Belinda’s was great from a personal perspective, while Camilla’s was so fun to write since I got a bit carried away with the puns and edited some of them out so it wasn’t too punny.

Most beautiful book I’ve bought?

O wow… Ok now this is going to be hard! Let me just go and check my bookself…So I’ve bought the Game of Thrones series (all nice covers) and had 7 books arrive from book boxes. None of them really jump out at me as being “pretty” or “beautiful” like I’ve seen with some books. But I’m leaning towards The Scoundrel in Her Bed by Lorraine Heath from my Swept Away book box.

What books do I need to read by the end of the year?

Fire and Blood, I started it to learn more about the Westerosi history so that it’d go well with my analysis of the TV show compared to the books (coming at some point in time in the future…hopefully before the next book comes out) and I really want to read the other sequel, A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.

Well that’s my reading year so far. I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing what I’ve been up to so far this year. I’ve love to hear what your reading year has been like so please comment below!

Why am I weird

I was tagged by Emily the Book Nerd to do this tag. While I read Emily’s responses I thought it could be interesting but also hard to think up 10 things weird about myself (that I’m willing to share!). This tag was created by Delly on Twitter, you can also find them at their blog.

Why am I weird tag rules

  • List ten weird things about yourself, your life, or silly habits that you wouldn’t normally share
  • Tag up to ten people so you can get to know them better
  • Link back to the person who tagged you and the creator
  • Comment on the posts of people you tagged!

My ten weird facts are:

  1. So long as my neck isn’t having a bad day, I can lick my elbow. Yes, I know they say it’s impossible, but my partner can vouch for me that my ridiculously long tongue allows me to defy that rule.
  2. My maths skills are so bad I’ve significantly overpaid my credit card several times. Do you know how embarrassing it is to call your bank and be like “So I paid like $800 onto my credit card yesterday, can I have $700 of that back please? Why? O coz I can’t do maths and thought I owed $800….”
  3. My partner and I have been together for over 7 years now, been living together for almost 5 and still sleep in separate bedrooms. Why? Coz he snores and I don’t wanna deal with that crap! My sleep is SOOOO much better when I sleep alone! Don’t worry, I still love him, and we do spend weekends together, I just need my beauty sleep on work nights.
  4. I have a superpower. I don’t mean one of those flashy one’s where I can save the world. I mean one of those really practical ones that I’m sure everyone would love to have. For me, I can find a car park within like 2 minutes of looking. Even when it’s PACKED! True story. I now have to be the one to drive when we go Christmas shopping coz at least I can get us a park.
  5. I can have an entire conversation with you while I’m asleep. My partner hasn’t tried so I don’t actually know if I still do this. But I know I used to do it to my mum all the time when she’d come home from work and come in to say goodnight to me when I was growing up.
  6. I also used to sleepwalk to the point where my parents had to close every door between my room and a room with an alarm in it to stop me wandering into a room with an alarm. Coz who wants to be woken up at god knows what time of the night coz their kid slept walked? The worst part for them? I wouldn’t even wake up. I’d just wander on back to bed and leave them to get up to turn the alarm off.
  7. Up until like last year (when I turned 28) I kept getting ID’d when I’d try and buy alcohol which is like 8 years too long in my opinion. Note for my international readers: here in Australia the drinking age is 18.
  8. I’m following in my dad’s footsteps and going grey before I’ve reached 30. It actually started back when I was like 25 but my sister (also my hairdresser) and I kept pulling them out. But I think I’ve reached that critical point where I won’t be able to keep up with them popping up anymore.
  9. I was born and raised an only child but have two sisters. And no, they aren’t both step siblings. One of them was my sister from as soon as I was born, and we actually are related.
  10. I have jaundice which makes my skin look olive, but I can never get past golden when I tan. Also, fun fact. I only found out about the jaundice a few years ago, and only because my new doctor’s clinic uses the same pathology company as the doctor I went to growing up.

Ok well that’s 10 weird facts about me. I hope none of them were scary, and hopefully you got a few good laughs from them. Feel free to do this tag even if I don’t tag you coz it is kinda fun sitting here thinking up these facts!

Who am I tagging?

1 Year Celebration!

I’m going to start off with thanking everyone for the birthday wishes (belatedly, coz when am I ever on time for stuff like this?) and all the support over the past 12 months. I feel like this blog has really taken off in the past few months when I discovered the book blogging community.

Thanks to this community I’ve been nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award by Gunjan Maheshwari so I will be passing on the love to a few other bloggers out there a well.

Don’t forget to check out the other amazing bloggers I tag!

Blogger Recognition Award Rules

  1. Thank the blogger for nominating you and give the link to their blog
  2. Write a blog post on your website showing the award
  3. Describe the story of why you started your blog
  4. Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers
  5. Nominate 15 more bloggers
  6. Notify each of your nominees that you have nominated them

Why I started blogging

I found myself reading heaps of new books thanks to my discovery of BookBub and being able to get new books for free. Yes I’m a cheapskate sometimes. I was pretty broke back then and desperate for new reads so this was a dream come true for me.

Anyway, I realised pretty quickly I wasn’t going to be able to keep track of all the books I was reading, what I thought of them etc to ever be able to find a particular book ever again. After a bit of research and thinking I decided to take the plunge even if my partner and family thought I was an idiot for wasting my money on a website.

And so Proud Book Reviews was born a year ago on April 1 right after being away camping for Easter with my partner. Writing my first 3 reviews in the serenity of the countryside overlooking the river was an amazing way to start this blog.

Advice for new Bloggers

  1. Start somewhere. Pick a topic you’re passionate about and write up a few posts. If it comes easily to you and you can think of a bunch more stuff to write on that topic you’ll find stuff to keep writing about.
  2. Connect, promote yourself and don’t be afraid to try new things on your blog. Sure, not everyone is going to love everything but I personally think if it’s a hobby it doesn’t matter what anyone other than you thinks. So who cares?

My nominations!

So I’m a pretty lousy blog hopper (sorry guys!) so I might struggle to get to 15. If I do I’m gonna pick people that I’ve seen writing about some interesting stuff that I’ve meant to come back to and either forgotten about or couldn’t find again.

  1. Books and Dachshunds
  2. Book Dragons
  3. Book Wyrming Thoughts
  4. Jamsudreams
  5. Reader Voracious
  6. Allie Reads
  7. To Other Worlds
  8. The Frozen Library
  9. Bookwyrm Bites
  10. A Reader to Whatever End
  11. Kirsty’s Book Buying Addiction
  12. Stephen Writes
  13. DB’s Guide to the Galaxy
  14. Breakeven Books
  15. The Write Reads

Well it turns out I didn’t need to stress about reaching 15. Turns out I’m just really shit at consistently following people and reading all their posts!

Anyway I have read and enjoyed all of these blogs at least once so please try and make some time to check out their sites!

Tamora Pierce – The Circle Universe

Hi all, welcome back to a new series of series reviews! Woohoo!

My mum bought me the first book in this world’s series when I was like 9 or something when I was in the city with her one day. I distinctly remember hating her in that moment for forcing me to read something outside of my normal genres.

In my first attempt of fantasy I really hated it. But luckily a few years later I rediscovered Tamora Pierce through a friend and ended up falling in love with all of her books and went back to reread this one.

To give you an overview, this series follows 4 main characters in the original Circle of Magic series when they are first brought together.

Tris, Briar, Sandry and Daja in The Circle of Magic Source

Over the course of the Circle of Magic, The Circle Opens and The Circle Reforged we see them grow up and into their powers in ways that keep you engaged, interested and riveted.

Sandry, Daja, Briar and Tris all grown up Source

Across all three series we travel across various regions countries as they go on various adventures.

I look forward to exploring this series with you and hearing what you think of these reviews!

Instructional Design reading

So this is a new feature where I will be sharing my thoughts and takeaways from my own professional development. Now, since it’s not really a career many people know about I should probably give you a bit of background to what I actually do to make a living.

So first off, what I do is called Instructional Design. It’s often lumped under Human Resources but more specifically falls under Learning and Development, or Education or other similar names. The specific name depends on the business but we often refer to it s L&D.

Instructional design and brain physiology/psychology reference books

The next thing you should know is that various businesses consider Instructional Designers to have various skill sets. The base is always the same. But the additional skills aren’t always included and as such are sometimes separated into another role; Multi Media or Content Developers.

At the moment my skills are mostly at the base level, but I’m constantly working to improve those skills and branch out properly into being able to develop courses as well.

Ok, last thing I’m going to tell you is what I do on a day to day basis. Basically I design training programs. These could be those face to face lectures, workshops and activities you’ve probably all participated in at some point in time. But nowadays you also need to design online courses.

Since I’m pretty comfortable with my ability to design face to face facilitation but am still pretty new to designing elearns so I’m focusing my development there.

eLearning and instructional design text books

Since this includes reading about adult learning principles, psychology, technical planning and actual building tips and tricks I thought I could share these thoughts with you.

So as I’ve read enough of something to share some takeaways with you I will be doing so. Because I don’t have a set time to read these books I won’t have a schedule for these posts. If you find them interesting please make sure you follow me to get email notifications!

Bookworms Unite at ClunesBookTown

Hi All;

Today I got to enjoy my first experience with Clunes Book Town Festival 2018. I gota say, it was better than I was expecting! Especially for only $10 entry!

I haven’t been to Clunes since I was 14 and I spent 8 weeks living there as part of a school camp designed to try and make us grow up and prepare us for living on our own. I’m sure this worked for some people, but not for everyone! I was kinda a hit and miss success for this program and my time at Clunes had both good and bad memories. However it was great to be back there and remember the good times I had here.

Now I should probably mention that I kinda dragged my partner along with me so I would have someone to talk to while I was there. But he’s not a reader, so the poor guy got to sit on the curb while I poured through stall after stall searching for my goldmine trophies. Which given my limited budget had to be pretty special.

We arrived into Clunes coming over a picturesque little bridge with willows overhanging the river. Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of this side however there’s a picture of the other side of the bridge for you below, hopefully that gives you an idea of how pretty this spot of the town is. Not that I remembered this from my time here 13 years ago.

Bridge into the town

We found a park in the first street we came across and made our way to the entrance to the main street of Clunes where the festival was set up in. As we made our way inside we were given a guidebook and I was immediately starstruck by all the book stalls and all the books piled up for sale. I pretty much immediately turned to my partner and said “and this is why my parents put me on a leash when I was a kid, so they wouldn’t loose me in amongst all the books”. To try and help me acclimate to all the books I found myself surrounded by we headed to the bakery I remember for having amazing rabbit pies. Unfortunately my dad’s request for a few went unsatisfied as it turns out they don’t make them anymore. Which immediately put me off having lunch there since I couldn’t get my customary rabbit and steak pie 🙁

However we got ourselves settled in with a hot chocolate for me and a cappuccino for my partner to plan out what we (me) wanted to do that day and what I wanted to try and achieve. This resulted on my inability to make a decision being shown yet again, so I settled on just walking up and down until I felt that I had seen everything I wanted to.

My first stop was with an author I hadn’t heard of before, C.E. Sundstrom and he told me a little bit about his books. It wasn’t enough to draw me in then and there however I couldn’t stop thinking about what he’d said about his books for the rest of the day. So much so that I HAD to see him again before I left for the day to grab a copy of his first book “Awakenings”. I will review this in the coming month and I look forward to finding out about the 2 women this series follows as I read it.

After speaking to Sundstrom I continued diving into the piles of books available in each stall and somehow managed to get a copy of Gone with the Wind for $2 and Wilbur Smith’s newest book, Pharoh for $5. Gone with the Wind I found in some tiny little stall at the very back of the classics pile and was pleasantly surprised when the woman running the stall only asked for $2, I was prepared to pay up to $5 for this one given it was second hand and a little worn. Whereas Pharoh REALLY surprised me for it’s price given it only came out last year and I paid $20 for it on my Kindle at the time it came out. But I needed a copy to go with the rest of the book series on my bookshelf.

Some of the books I bought

At this stage I decided to let me partner control the speed of what we were doing by finding some food for lunch. And boy did he find a winner! Not only did he find a traditional Vietnamese food stall for him to get an amazing pork bun roll, but he also found a paella stall for me. Unfortunately people were a little too eager for the paella and so they started selling it before it was actually ready, but let’s not focus on the food since we’re here to focus on the books!

The paella on offer for lunch

I was able to dive through all types of books to find the ones that really stood out for me. So if you’re thinking you’d like to go and see what they have to offer know that they have fiction, non-fiction, historical encyclopedia’s, books and novels as well as a range of kinds books and cookbooks among other themes.

After being allowed to trawl through some more books I decided it was time to treat my partner who’d had to drive me 2 hours there to ignore him and then drive me 2 hours home. So we went to the pub which we’d discovered earlier in the morning had an amazing beer garden, and we hung out there for a bit before we went on a Historical Tour of Clunes. This tour although not about books was pretty cool and I’ve got some pictures for you had some pretty cool facts about Clunes that made it really interesting. I’ve put a couple of photo’s below for you but to see the full range check out my Facebook page wher they are all uploaded for you to see.

The beer garden of the Clunes pub

If you’re interested in hearing more about the festival just comment your questions and I will happily answer them for you!

The Journey Begins

Hi, and welcome to my blog Proud Book Reviews!

I’m an Aussie woman from Melbourne who loves to read. Like I REALLY love to read.

Only problem is I don’t have a lot of money to spend on new books. So instead, I signed up to email notifications for sales, cheap and free books. Over the past yr I’ve bought over 300 books that caught my attention this way and my goal is to work my way through all of these new books reading each one without remembering what each book is about.

While all of these books have been purchased for my Kindle I also have a great book collection and my ultimate dream is to have an library with ladders on runners and a window lounge chair where I can curl up and read in the sunlight (or what little we get here in winter) whenever I want.

This blog is going to be focused on reviews on these books, however they will be focusing on more of a recap of how I felt reading the book at certain points or overall. So, if you haven’t read the books be prepared for spoilers! Some of these reviews will be on some of the books I read previously but have stood out whereas others will be completed right after finishing a book.

My ultimate goal with this blog is to keep track of what I’ve read so if I can’t pick a new book or want to re-read a book I’ve read before but can’t remember the name I can refer back to these notes, thoughts and feelings. However, I hope these can help you discover new aspects of books you haven’t discovered yet or stimulate conversations you haven’t yet had about these books.

All of my reviews will be my own opinion, but I’d love to hear if you agree or disagree with anything that I write. Thank-you, and I hope you enjoy reading my reviews.

You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books and that’s kind of the same thing

Cookies Collected!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. To find out more check out my Privacy Policy. By continuing you accept these terms.