platform | book review

Ever feel like you have something to share with the world but you’re not exactly sure how to go about it? We live in a media saturated society and it’s really easy to get lost in the shuffle. Well this past month I listened to a book that you might be interested in. It has definitely impacted my direction as a blogger.


Platform by Michael Hyatt

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts: 

So, you may know that I’m a lover of lists. I like things set out in bullet points or numbered items that are easy to scan, breakdown, organize and take in. This is one of those kinds of books. Michael Hyatt, former CEO of Thomas Nelson, speaks from his expert knowledge of the publishing world and his personal brand building experience and gives step-by-step counsel on what branding is, why it’s important and why you need to do it if you want to be heard in this noisy world. If you’ve got a business or a ministry or you’re a creative who just wants to gather a following, this book is for you. Seriously.

It’s not a message for everyone but for a blogger like myself who’d like to spend my life doing work that I love, it was perfect. If you think that this book might be something you’d be interested in, here’s what you need to do:

Go to and see what he’s all about. Seriously, it’s a great site.

Go to and download Platform and listen to it. Seriously, it’s a great book!

Or go to Amazon and buy a print copy. Seriously, I’m going to get one for my shelves, it was that good and I need it for reference.

I’m now a huge Michael Hyatt/Platform fan and I think some of you, dear readers might want to check out what all the fuss is about! It may change your life too :)

Happy reading, y’all!


the true confessions of charlotte doyle | review

I’m not sure how many times I have listened to this audiobook in the past ten years but it is one of my favorite stories from eighth grade.  I just listened to it again this week and it’s about time I reviewed it!!


I first encountered this book when I was in eighth grade.  I liked it so much, I did one of my book report projects on it.  For some reason, tales about the high seas intrigued me and I went through this lady pirate phase.  Don’t ask.  This book doesn’t even contain pirates.  I just wanted to read about girls on ships and those books were out there – but the girls in the books I got my hands on were pirates!

I have since gotten over the whole pirate thing but I’ve still kept this piece of junior fiction on my list of favorite stories.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Rating: 5.0 – 5.0

My Thoughts:

Charlotte Doyle is a sweet thirteen-year-old girl traveling from Liverpool, England to her family in America.  It’s quite a simple arrangement really.  Two other families are supposed to travel on the same voyage, thus keeping her protected and occupied.  However, when she boards the ship, the other passengers are nowhere to be seen and she realizes she must make the trip as the only passenger besides captain and crew.

Something’s not right.

Word has it that the captain is not what he seems.  But Charlotte finds him the very sole of propriety, class, and dignity – everything she has been brought up to expect and respect in a gentleman.  He’s the one man who understands her, can protect her, and provide her with the kind of respectable companionship on this long, lonely voyage.  But some of the crew have made it clear that they do not trust or like him.

So what is she supposed to do when everything is turned upside down and she’s caught in the middle of the power struggle?

And what is supposed to do when she’s accused of murder, tried and found guilty?

I have a thing for mysteries, I must say.  And for ship stories.  Ten years later and it still does the job.

This book counts towards the following challenges:



Book Challenges for 2015

Another year has gone by!  It’s time for a new set of book challenges for 2015!!  Here’s my master post for signing up and linking up with the events I’ve chosen for next year!

2015 Audiobook Challenge

Hosted by The Book Nymph Hot Listens

I didn’t quite make my 2014 goal but I’m going give it another go in 2015!

Here are the levels:

  • Newbie (I’ll give it a try) 1-5
  • Weekend Warrior (I’m getting the hang of this) 5-10
  • Stenographer (can listen while multi-tasking) 10-15
  • Socially Awkward (Don’t talk to me) 15-20
  • Binge Listener (Why read when someone can do it for you) 20-30
  • My Precious (I had my earbuds surgically implanted) 30-50
  • Marathoner (Look Ma no hands) 50+

I’m going to try for Stenographer.

Click HERE for full details!

2015 Authors A to Z Reading Challenge

2015-authors-bannerHosted by Samanatha Lin

The goal is to read a book by authors with last names from A to Z by December 31, 2015.

Click HERE for full details!

2015 Bookish Resolutions

Hosted by Laura & Michelle

I’m reeeeeeally loving the concept of this challenge.  I’ve been scouring Pinterest for the past few weeks looking for all kinds of different resolutions and challenges so this looks super fun!  The goal is to create 1-5 resolutions related to book/blogging.  At the end of every month, blog your progress and link up with the hosts.  There is a giveaway at the end of the year and a list of example goals to choose from at the sign-up post.

Click HERE for full details!


Back to the Classics Challenge 2015

backtotheclassics2015BUTTONHosted by Books and Chocolate

2014 was a complete fail as I did not keep up with this one at all!!  For some reason my fiction focus fell more on historical fiction than classics so I didn’t finish any title on my Classics Club list. AAAGHHH!! Sooooo, I’m going to try again!  Here are the categories to choose from:

  1. A 19th Century Classic — any book published between 1800 and 1899.
  2. A 20th Century Classic — any book published between 1900 and 1965.  Just like last year, all books must have been published at least 50 years ago to qualify as a classic.  The only exception is books that were published posthumously but written at least 50 years ago.)
  3. A Classic by a Woman Author.
  4. A Classic in Translation. As in last year’s category, this can be any classic book originally written or a published in a language that is not your first language.  Feel free to read it in its original form if you are comfortable reading in another language.  
  5. A Very Long Classic Novel — a single work of 500 pages or longer.  This does not include omnibus editions combined into one book, or short story collections.  
  6. A Classic Novella — any work shorter than 250 pages.  For a list of suggestions, check out this list of World’s Greatest Novellas from Goodreads.
  7. A Classic with a Person’s Name in the Title.  First name, last name, or both, it doesn’t matter, but it must have the name of a character.  David Copperfield, The Brothers Karamazov, Don Quixote — something like that. It’s amazing how many books are named after people!
  8. A Humorous or Satirical Classic.  Humor is very subjective, so this one is open to interpretation.  Just tell us in the review why you think it’s funny or satirical.   For example, if you think that Crime and Punishment and funny, go ahead and use it, but please justify your choice in your post. 
  9. A Forgotten Classic.  This could be a lesser-known work by a famous author, or a classic that nobody reads any more.  If you look on Goodreads, this book will most likely have less than 1000 ratings.  This is your chance to read one of those obscure books from the Modern Library 100 Best Novels or 1001 Books to Read Before You Die.  Books published by Virago Modern Classics,Persephone, and NYRB Classics often fall into this category.  
  10. A Nonfiction Classic.  A memoir, biography, essays, travel, this can be any nonfiction work that’s considered a classic, or a nonfiction work by a classic author.  You’d be surprised how many classic authors dabbled in nonfiction writing — I have nonfiction books by Dickens, Trollope, Twain, and Steinbeck on my shelves. 
  11. A Classic Children’s Book.  A book for your inner child!  Pick a children’s classic that you never got around to reading.  
  12. A Classic Play.  Your choice, any classic play, as long as it was published or performed before 1965.  Plays are only eligible for this specific category.

There are no required categories and there is a drawing for a giveaway at the end.

Click HERE for full details!


Full House Reading Challenge 2015

Hosted by Book Date

The goal is to complete the card below by December 2015.

Full House Challenge final A

There is a giveaway at the end!

Click HERE for full details!


2015 Library Challenge

PrintHosted by Geeky Bloggers Book Blog & The Book Nympho

The goal is to read at least 12 books from the library.  They can be in any format and can be from any genre.  Here are the levels:

Dewey Decimal: read 12 books
Thrifty Reader: read 24 books
Overdrive Junkie: read 36 books
Library Card on Fire: read 50+ books

Click HERE for full details!


2015 Monthly Key Word Challenge

15854036895_c3087978fb_zHosted by Bookmark to Blog


Each month as a list of keywords. At leas one of those words must be in the title of the book you read that month.  How fun!!

Click HERE for more details!

The host suggests the extra challenge of pairing this event with this next one she is also hosting.


2015 Monthly Motif Challenge

15852031811_8813f0bf11Hosted by Bookmark to Blog

Each month has an assigned motif and the task is to read a book within that theme.  The rules are not strict so no worries if you skip a month or read out of order.

Click HERE for more details!

New Authors Challenge 2015

NAC.2015Hosted by Literary Escapism

The challenge is to read books by 15, 25, or 50 new authors by the end of the year.  Yeeeeeeah, I’m shooting for 15….lol.

Click HERE for full details!

New to You 2015 Reading Challenge

Hosted by Herding Cats and Burning Soup

Lovely flexible rules.  Whatever is ‘new to you’ counts in this one.

Hosts suggest:

This can be a debut author.
A brand new to you author.
And old favorites “debut” book.
A new series.
A first time reading a new genre (ex if you read your first New Adult book)
or any other new that crosses your path

Annnd here are the levels:

Level 1: 6 “new to you”s

Level 2: 12 “new to you”s

Level 3: 24 “new to you”s

Level 4: 36 “new to you”s

Level 5: 48 “new to you”s

Level 6: 72 “new to you”s

Level 7: 100+ “new to you”s

Click HERE for full details!

2015 Nonfiction Reading Challenge

Hosted by The Introverted Reader


Out of the titles I read this year, a good number of them were non-fiction so I’m looking forward to knocking out more titles.  Anything non-fiction counts on this one. Pretty straight forward!

Here are the levels:

Dilettante–Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer–Read 6-10

Seeker–Read 11-15

Master–Read 16-20

I have chosen to try for Seeker.

Click HERE for full details!


2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge

OY2015_bannerHosted by The Book Vixen

The title says it all, yeah?  This was my goal anyway but why not get some real blogger credit while I’m at it? Here are the levels:

  • Getting My Heart Rate Up: read 1–5 more books (or 250–1,499 more pages)
  • Out of Breath: read 6–10 more books (or 1,500–2,749 more pages)
  • Breaking a Sweat: read 11–15 more books (or 2,750–3,999 more pages)
  • I’m on Fire!: read 16+ more books (or 4,000+ more pages)

Click HERE for full details.


 The Official 2015 TBR Pile Challenge

2015tbrbuttonHosted by Adam @ RoofBeam Reader

Once again, it’s time to select 12 titles from that TBR pile and tackle them through a new year.  I have yet to accomplish this, but here I go again!  I haven’t put my 2015 list together but I will post it as soon as I have chosen my 12.

Click HERE for full details.

Whew!!  Here’s to another year of great reads!

What are you reading this year?