Clear the Shelf Book Challenge 2023

For a few years now I’ve been saying that I want to read books that the series is completed and I own all the books. I even made a shelf on Goodreads to help me track it. Have I done well at this? Well, it started with nearly 100 books on it and is now down to 53.

I realize that 2023 is already more than half over, but now is as good of time as any to start tracking this in a different way. This year hasn’t been a great year for reading for me. I’m hoping keeping track on the blog will help motivate me as it’s more than just updating a list. I can write down my thoughts and moods here to help me keep going.

So, I will do my best to post updates on this at least once a month, sharing which books I finished, what I am currently reading, what I plan to read next along with why I have or haven’t stuck to the Goodreads list, if I deviate, why. I really feel like this will help keep me motivated as I also reread some books before finishing off the series.

So, let’s get started.

What book did I just finish?

Son of the Shadows Book 2 of the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier.

Was this book on the list? No

Why did I read it? It was a reread as I need to refresh on the beginning of this series before finishing it.

What am I reading now?

Child of the Prophecy Book 3 of the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier

Was this book on the list? no

Why am I reading it? Same reason as above

What am I reading next?

Seer of Sevenwaters Book 5 of the Sevenwaters Series

Is it on the list? Yes

Fantasy Book Review – Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier


Lovely Sorcha is the seventh child and only daughter of Lord Colum of Sevenwaters. Bereft of a mother, she is comforted by her six brothers who love and protect her. Sorcha is the light in their lives: they are determined that she know only contentment.

But Sorcha’s joy is shattered when her father is bewitched by his new wife, an evil enchantress who binds her brothers with a terrible spell, a spell which only Sorcha can lift—by staying silent. If she speaks before she completes the quest set to her by the Fair Folk and their queen, the Lady of the Forest, she will lose her brothers forever.

When Sorcha is kidnapped by the enemies of Sevenwaters and taken to a foreign land, she is torn between the desire to save her beloved brothers, and a love that comes only once. Sorcha despairs at ever being able to complete her task, but the magic of the Fair Folk knows no boundaries, and love is the strongest magic of them all…

After reading Heir to Sevenwaters, I realized how much of the first three books I didn’t remember so I decided to go back to the beginning and read them again. I’m really glad I did because there was so much I had forgotten. The first time I read Daughter of the Forest was well over five years ago and I’ve read a lot of books since then.

I remember liking these books the first time but not necessarily loving them. I think I have grown as a reader since then because this time around, I loved Daughter of the Forest. Sorcha is such an amazing character. She’s barely more than a child when her father is enchanted by an evil sorceress, and her brothers are all turned to swans. I can be silent for hours without thinking about it but Sorcha remains silent for YEARS, while enduring some of the worst trauma a person can go through. She is isolated and alone through the majority of her ordeal. Even when there are people around her, they don’t understand what she’s doing or why and make assumptions about her that nearly lead to her death.

Can I relate to Sorcha as a character? No. Her experiences are far beyond anything I can imagine. However, reading this book from Sorcha’s point of view really draws the reader in to her experience. I don’t think it would have quite the same impact if it were told from third person point of view.

My rating for Daughter of the Forest is 4 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone who loves Celtic based fantasy, fantasy in general and folklore retellings.

Thanks for reading!

Book Review – Rose Madder by Stephen King


Rose Daniels saw the single drop of blood on the bed sheet–and knew she must escape from her macabre marriage before it was too late.

But escape was not as easy as fleeing to a new city, picking a new name, finding a new job, lucking out with a new man. Her husband, Norman, was a cop, with a cop’s training, a cop’s technology, a cop’s bloodhound instincts. And even worse, Norman was–well, Norman. Rose knew she had been married to a savage brute. Now she realized she was being tracked down by a terrifying monster–but the only place she found to hide could be the most dangerous one.

I can officially no longer say that I have never read a Stephen King novel. Not that it was ever a conscious decision that I wouldn’t read Stephen King, it was just that I had never specifically sought out his books or had anyone recommend one to me. I’d seen adaptations of his work and what I saw had not made me want to run out and buy the book.

When I started Rose Madder, I had no idea what to expect. The synopsis doesn’t give much away in terms of plot. All I knew was that my roommate thought I would like it so I decided to give it a shot. Boy, am I glad I did!

This book starts off intense and it stays intense! From the very first word, I was drawn into this book. It was hard not to be. It reaches out, grabs your attention and doesn’t let go! Rose Daniels is an abused woman, trapped in a marriage from hell. She has no friends or family to turn to and doesn’t truly know that her situation is wrong. It isn’t until she sees a single drop of blood on her bed sheet that she suddenly wakes up and sees just what kind of life she has been living. She works up the courage to walk out the front door of her house (with her husband’s bank card) and just keep going.

I was really impress with the way King wrote from Rose’s point of view. I really felt like he captured the anxiety, fear and uncertainty that a victim like Rose would be going through as she finally gets to the point of leaving her husband. Her entire journey getting to somewhere safe is almost nail biting. All of her internal dialogue felt real. I went on that emotional rollercoaster ride right along side Rose.

Then there was Norman’s point of view. Seeing the world as Norman sees it and being privy to his internal dialogue could be disturbing at times. Some of the language he uses is down right offensive and his view on people, especially women, is misogynistic at best. The contrast between Rose and Norman is profound!

Rose Madder was written and takes place in the early 1990’s and I really found it interesting to read about Rose’s journey without smart phones constantly at hand. I’m old enough to remember when no one had a cell phone and it was kind of cool looking into the past like this.

I never had any doubt that Stephen King is a good writer. How could he not be with the number of books he’s written and being one of the best selling authors of all time. I’m really happy that I finally got to see just what the fuss is about lol. I hope to read more of his stuff in the future. If you have any recommendations of goods to read, please let me know in the comments.

My rating for Rose Madder is 5 out of 5 stars and I would recommend it to anyone really.

Thanks for reading!