My 2015 in Books


Here are my 7 of the 14 books I read in 2015. The ones not pictured I borrowed from the library











I had planned on reading every month but at the end of March I was in the hospital for a week. In April – we decided to see our house so during the month of May we packed up the house. Our house sold in two days when it was listed in May. And finally in June we moved to Cleveland. So that explains all the gaps in my reading.

Hopefully I can read every month next year.


Book Review for The Red Umbrella by Christina Diaz Gonzalez


The Red Umbrella

Christina Diaz Gonzalez

Hardcover, Published May 11, 2010 by Knopf Books

I wanted to read this book because I love to read historical fiction. This story shows what happens to families in Cuba during the time Castro was in charge. Castro and his followers take over the government anyone who is branded has a traitors is punished. To them safe, Lucia and Frankie are sent to the United States. The Red Umbrella is a fictional story of a real event called Operation Pedro Pan. Parents feared the Cuban Government would take away their parental authority.

This story is told from a fourteen year old girl’s point of view. Instead of living the life of a normal teenager, Lucia Alvarez must look after her seven year old brother Frankie as they make the journey from Cuba to the United States.

The first half of the book looks at how beautiful Cuba is and how hard it was for families to leave Cuba. The second half of the book shows what it is like for Lucia and Frankie when they go live with a foster family in Nebraska.

This book was very good. It was very real at times and there were many times I cried while reading it. I was glad it had a happy ending but after I read it I wondered if there were some families who were never reunited.

To find more books by Christina Diaz Gonzalez go to her web site:

To Read Jar : a fun way to decide what book to read

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I found this idea on Pinterest and Instagram. If you search ” tbr jar ” you can see examples.

If you are like me, you have 300+ books on your “to read” list on Good Reads and you have trouble deciding what book to read.

The things you need:

  • Jar
  • Your reading list
  • Scissors
  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Materials to decorate the outside

1. You can use any type of jar you want. I picked a clear jar so I can see inside. I bought my jar at Target for $1.99 where I also found some labels to label my jar “The Book Jar”  but you can decorate your jar any way you like.

2. First you will need to cut the paper to the desired size. I picked colored paper so I could see them inside the jar.

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3.  Next write down the titles of books you want to read onto the pieces of paper. I picked 20 titles from my Good Reads list.




4. Place all of the pieces of papers into the jar and shake.

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I made a list of all of the books I put in the jar to avoid duplicates. For the books that are in a series, I just wrote down the title of the first book. There is something I cannot decide though. If I pick a book that is a series, do I just read that book? Or do I finish the series before I pick from the jar again?

Here is a list of my books to read:

  1. Until the next time by Kevin Fox
  2. Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) by Cassandra Clare
  3. Death by Darjeeling (A Tea Shop Mystery #1) by Laura Childs
  4. The City of Ember (Book of Ember #1) by Jeanne DuPrau
  5. Keepsake Crimes (A Scrapbooking Mystery #1) by Laura Childs
  6. Slavery Inc. : the untold story of international sex trafficking by Lydia Cacho
  7. I Heart New York by Lindsey Keik
  8. Hidden girl : the true story of a modern- day child slave by Shyima Hall
  9. Dear nobody : the true diary of Mary Rose by Mary Rose
  10. The girl who was supposed to die by April Henry
  11. Breakfast served anytime by Sarah Combs
  12. What I thought was true by Huntley Fitzpatrick
  13. The Raft by S.A. Bodeem
  14. Girl Stolen by April Henry
  15.  Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles
  16. Murder Past Due (Cat in the Stacks Mystery, #1) by Miranda James
  17. Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater
  18. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  19. All These Things I’ve Done (Birthright #1) by Gabrielle Zevin
  20. The wolf gift by Anne Rice




Polar Bear books to check out

  • Polar Bears (Amazing Animals) – ISBN 9781583418116
  • Waiting for Ice – Sandra Markle – ISBN 1580892558; 978-1580892551
  • Polar Bears: A Natural History of a Threatened Species – ISBN 1554551552, 978-1554551552
  • Polar Bears (Living Wild) – Rachael Hanel – ISBN 1583417419 ; 978-1583417416
  • The Polar Bears Are Hungry – Carol Carrick – ISBN 0618159622
  • The Polar Bear Scientists (Scientists in the Field Series) – Peter Lourie – ISBN 0547283059 ; 978-0547283050
  • Polar Bears: Hunters of the Snow and Ice (Animals of the Snow and Ice) – Elaine Landau – ISBN 0766034615 ; 978-0766034617
  • The Life Cycle of a Polar Bear – Robin Merritt – ISBN 1609731905 ; 978-1609731908