Victoria by Daisy Goodwin ::Book Review::

Disclaimer: This is an advertisement for SheSpeaks/St. Martins Press.  I received this book in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own.

Although I don’t have as much free time as I’d like, one thing I still make time for is reading. I am a bookworm and always have been. Luckily Ethan has also picked up my love of reading, and we have read many books together, including some of my favorites from when I was a kid.

If you like historical fiction, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is a must read! Victoria reigns for 63 years, has 9 children, and a fairy tale love with her husband Albert. Couldn't put it down!

I’m also a huge fan of historical fiction. I love being taken back to a time and place that I’ve never been – to situations I’ll never be in myself. Where I can learn about history and the ways people lived. When manners and traditions mattered. Where appearances and family connections were everything. I love reading the Brontë sisters, Lisa See, and Jane Austen. And now, I can add Daisy Goodwin to the list. I am currently reading Victoria by Daisy Goodwin, and I cannot put it down!

Victoria Overview

Goodreads says,

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.  One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….  Drawing on Victoria’s diaries as well as her own brilliant gifts for history and drama, Daisy Goodwin, author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter as well as creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria, brings the young queen even more richly to life in this magnificent novel.”

I also love to read historical fiction is because I’m taken into another world, totally foreign to me. In Victoria, I get to see what it’s like to become a queen through a young girl’s eyes. Goodwin captures this view drawing from Queen Victoria’s diaries, which she first started reading when she was a student at Cambridge University. She brings the young nineteenth-century monarch to life; Victoria would reign for 63 years, have 9 children and a fairy tale love with her husband Albert. Victoria takes us to the early years of the Victorian era, a place that I didn’t know much about before starting to read the book.

If you like historical fiction, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is a must read! Victoria reigns for 63 years, has 9 children, and a fairy tale love with her husband Albert. Couldn't put it down!

Book Review: Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Imagine this: You turn eighteen and within a month’s time, you are awoken early one morning with the news that your uncle William IV has died and that you are now Queen of England; Queen of the world’s greatest nation. How would you handle the news? Would you be excited or terrified? Talk about pressure!

That’s why I loved Victoria by Daisy GoodwinWe get to see her grow not only in years but in maturity and wisdom. And this queen will not be told what to do. The men who run the country (and even her own mother) have doubts about whether this young woman, who isn’t even five feet tall, can take on such a huge responsibility.

Yet despite her age, she knows exactly the kind of queen she plans to be. One of her first decisions has to do with her name: “I do not like the name Alexandrina,” she proclaims. “From now on I wish to be known only by my second name, Victoria.”

Victoria learns quickly whom she can and can’t trust. Lord Melbourne, the prime minister, is the first person that believes in her and he helps her learn how to be a queen.  As she learns to be queen she is also being pressured to marry. She’s not interested in marrying, but she does end up marrying Prince Albert.

Here’s what Amanda Foreman, British/American biographer and historian, said about the book:

“Victoria is an absolutely captivating novel of youth, love, and the often painful transition from immaturity to adulthood. Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria’s story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit.”

If you like historical fiction, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is a must read! Victoria reigns for 63 years, has 9 children, and a fairy tale love with her husband Albert. Couldn't put it down!

Thoughts on Victoria

There were times that I felt bad for Victoria because of how her mother treated her (she wasn’t even allowed her own room; up until she become queen she slept in her mother’s room) but other times I thought she was stubborn, extremely unpleasant, and arrogant. But I guess as a ruler, those are qualities that you must have to get things done.

I enjoyed hating Conroy, who along with Victoria’s mother, tried to control everything she did. I wanted to high five Victoria every time she  got the upper hand on him!

I really enjoyed this book. When I had about 50 more pages to go I started dragging my feet because I don’t want it to end!

If you like historical fiction, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is a must read. Victoria reigns for 63 years, has 9 children, and a fairy tale love with her husband Albert. Couldn't put it down!

Goodwin spiraled me back into the Victorian age and I loved the ride. Certain parts of the story were intense – I wanted to read “just one more page” and then “just one more chapter.” That to me makes for a fantastic novel. Victoria was a complicated woman who grew up dealing with responsibilities and issues that I can’t even imagine having to deal with. I had fun getting to know her and her world.

About Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

Daisy Goodwin is also the creator and writer of the new PBS/Masterpiece drama Victoria (catch it in January 2017) and author of the bestselling novels The American Heiress and The Fortune Hunter. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Sounds like a fun ride, doesn’t it? You can preorder Victoria on Amazon or at Barnes and Noble today! Otherwise you’ll find it everywhere November 22nd.

Victoria by Daisy Goodwin now holds a place as one of my all time favorite reads. What are some of your favorites?

If you like historical fiction, Victoria by Daisy Goodwin is a must read. Victoria reigns for 63 years, has 9 children, and a fairy tale love with her husband Albert. Couldn't put it down!

Natalie’s Bookshelf: All Time Favorites

Victoria
it was amazing
tagged:
all-time-favorites
Love You When You Whine
it was amazing
tagged:
all-time-favorites and childhood
And the Mountains Echoed
really liked it
tagged:
all-time-favorites
The Storyteller
it was amazing
tagged:
all-time-favorites
The Fault in Our Stars
it was amazing
tagged:
all-time-favorites

 


goodreads.com

Our Favorite Bedtime Stories

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Random House Children’s Books. All opinions expressed about favorite bedtime stories are my own.

Every night a half hour before the kids go to bed, we lay down and read. Ethan’s now reading chapter books, and recently finished the first Harry Potter book. He’s also anxiously awaiting the new Diary of A Wimpy Kid book, Double Down. We take turns reading pages to each other. With the girls, they still like me to read to them. While they occasionally want to read a book from school or one they found on the bookshelf, the majority of the time they will pick from our go-to favorite bedtime stories. These are the stories that we have read so often that the books show signs of love; ripped pages, bent corners, and other signs of a well read book.

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Our Favorite Bedtime Stories (And Why We Love ‘Em)

Love You When You Whine 

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This is probably our all time favorite…so much so that I wrote about Love You When You Whine a couple of years ago! We love this story because no matter how much trouble the little one gets in to, or how much of a monster she’s being, her mom tells her that she loves her. “Love you when you whine,” “Love you even when you say that you don’t love me,” and “Love you when you throw a tantrum” are some of my favorites from the book. And at the end, the girls always want to read the last page to me: “Love you always. Yes I do.”

Goodnight Moon

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I’ve read this one so many times that I have it memorized; that’s a sign of favorite bedtime stories! We used to read this one a lot when the kids were younger. Now that the girls are learning to read, they like to read this one because they can read it all by themselves without any help. This is a book I always like to include with baby shower gifts because it’s so sweet and such a classic.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs

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When I say Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, I mean the original one, not the new movie version! This is one of my favorite books of all time, and the kids love the silly town of Chewandswallow. The story is actually about a grandfather telling his grandkids a bedtime story, so it makes a perfect bedtime story!

Side Note: Did you know there are two other books in the series? If you liked Cloudy, check out Pickles to Pittsburgh and Planet of the Pies!

Guess How Much I Love You

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If you’ve ever head the phrase “I love you to the moon and back,” this is where it comes from. It’s the story of a little rabbit telling his dad how much he loves him, but his dad always tells him that he loves him even more. This is one of those stories that never get old, and that parents adore as much as kids do.

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

Last year at about this time, I told you the one of my favorite bedtime stories ever was a book I had heard about called The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. This book got major media attention since it reported that just by reading it, you’d be able to lull your children to sleep by employing positive-reinforcement techniques to promote relaxation. So of course I had to try it, and was shocked that it completely worked on both girls!

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep will do the same. This book features Ellen the Elephant, who is on a journey through a magical forest that leads to sleep. Along the way, she meets different characters and has soothing experiences. These experiences will also help your children relax and fall asleep.

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

Don’t worry….the author includes tips on how to read the book the correct way to help your child fall asleep. The instructions are easy to follow and understand, and they will definitely relax you, too.

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

And fair warning: you may just fall asleep yourself!

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

The book also includes tips from the author for using the techniques successfully.

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And it works!

I love that the author, Carl-Johan Forssén Ehrlin, wrote this book because the girls were getting tired of hearing about the rabbit…they wanted something new. This book is perfect, and over the two books, they now prefer The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep!

Want to get your kids to sleep fast by simply reading them a story? Check out The Little Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep - it will get them to sleep FAST!

If you have a child between the ages of 3 and 7, I suggest you check out The Little Elephant Who Wants to Fall Asleep

You also have a chance to win one for your children! Simply enter below and a winner will be randomly chosen on Wednesday, November 2nd. US residents only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Book Review: Treasure Hunters by James Patterson – Book 4

Disclosure: I received a copy of Treasure Hunters by James Patterson and compensation for an honest review of the book through MomSelect. All opinions expressed are my own.

It’s no secret that I LOVE to read. Mia and Ethan also love to read, while Lila would rather do something else. That’s okay…two out of three mini-me bookworms still makes me happy! While we’ve slacked off on reading this summer, one book that we did sit down and read together was out of the series Treasure Hunters by James Patterson. We hadn’t read any of this series before (I can’t believe I hadn’t ever heard of the series!,) but we were excited to dive into Treasure Hunters Peril At the Top of the World.

Looking for a new series for your middle grader to read? The Treasure Hunters by James Patterson series is full of mystery, humor, and fun!

Book Review: Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

Treasure Hunters Peril at the Top of the World is one of those books that grabs you right away with an exciting plot and fun characters. Although it’s the fourth book in the series, you can pick up the book and it reads like a standalone book – you can follow along without feeling like your missing out on relevant information. In fact, the kids didn’t even realize it was part of a series until Ethan asked if there are other books like this that he can read!

Looking for a new series for your middle grader to read? The Treasure Hunters by James Patterson series is full of mystery, humor, and fun!

Ethan loves reading to his sisters.

The book may seem long to younger kids; there are 362 pages but the chapters are short, most just a few pages long. So even if you only have time for a few pages, you’ll get through a chapter or two. There are also pictures throughout the book which helps break up text. Ethan’s past needing pictures, but the girls still like them (they give them visual clues and helps them understand what’s going on.)

Another thing about the pictures and text…they are funny! The humor is easy for the kids to “get” and the pictures had us laughing out loud.

Looking for a new series for your middle grader to read? The Treasure Hunters by James Patterson series is full of mystery, humor, and fun!

And here’s a little bit more about Treasure Hunters…

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson is a series that we will definitely read again. Ethan wants to start at Book 1 and read them all! The series also qualifies as AR books through Ethan’s school meaning he’ll get credit towards his reading goal for reading them (always a bonus!)

If you haven’t read chapter books with your kids, the series Treasure Hunters by James Patterson is a great place to start! Although written for an older crowd, my 2nd graders enjoyed the book too! Why? Because the book is full of action, mystery, humor, and fun!

And here’s a Fun Fact: James Patterson has written more #1 bestsellers for kids than any other living author. So you know kids love his books!

You can pick up a hardcover copy of Treasure Hunters Peril At the Top of the World and you can also find the series available in paperbook, eBook editions ,and audio versions. For more information about this book and the entire series, visit treasurehuntersbooks.com.

Have your kids read the Treasure Hunters by James Patterson series? Did they like the series?

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

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Three of My Top Pick Must Read Books

I was reading a post over at Megan & Wendy’s blog about which 3 books that you’d want to take with you to a deserted island. Megan shared the 3 books she’d take, and I thought it would be fun to do the same. Like Megan, I chose 3 books that I love and that I could read over and over. And also like Megan, I’ve reread each of these books several times. So without further adieu, I give you three of my top choices for must read books.

Top Pick Must Read Books

If you were sent to a deserted island and could only bring 3 books with you, which would you choose? I chose my top 3 must read books - I've read them multiple times and still haven't gotten everything I need to get out of them.

We honeymooned on this island in Belize — it’s only the size of 2 football fields!

Crimson Petal and the White

This book is nearly impossible to put down! It’s such a well told story, full of twists and turns. I love historical fiction, and this one takes place back in 1870s London, where Sugar, a nineteen-year-old prostitute in the brothel of the terrifying Mrs. Castaway, yearns for escape to a better life.

Some reviewers have said that the story doesn’t really go anywhere at all, and it really doesn’t. It’s a story about life — you get to peek in and watch the lives of a variety of odd and interesting characters. It’s a character-driven book, not plot driven. And if you like books that neatly wrap up the story at the end, you won’t find it here. Which left me wanting more and more!

It’s a big book (900 pages), and I lugged the book along with us to Fiji…this is back before Kindle and ebooks were a thing. I haven’t read it in quite awhile, and look forward to getting reacquainted with the characters.

Poisonwood Bible

What can I say about this one? If nothing else, it will make you think. And it might make you sad. But it will make you feel! It’s a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959.  It’s a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.

I think I’ve read this book more times than I’ve read any other book. Every time I read it I find something new to love about it.

A Prayer for Owen Meany

This is the story of two eleven-year-old boys—best friends— and while playing baseball, one of the boys hits a foul ball that kills the other boy’s mother. The boy who hits the ball doesn’t believe in accidents; Owen Meany believes he is God’s instrument. What happens to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is extraordinary.

While there are religious undertones in this book, that’s now why I like it. It’s about the humor and sorrow of life, faith, friendship and fate. I think that Owen Meany is probably the most memorable character from any book of any genre that I’ve read. There’s something about him and this story that will stay with you long after you’ve read it. The plot is complicated and the time jumping is a little confusing, but man! John Irving can tell an amazing story.

It’s hard to only pick three books that you would take with you to a deserted island, but I’ve read these so many times and I still don’t feel like I’ve gotten everything out of them that I’m supposed to. So that makes them the perfect books to take!

So what would your three must read books be that you’d take with you to a deserted island? I’m always looking for new ones to fall in love with. And if you’re on Goodreads, make sure to follow me so we can stay connected!

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Mommy of a Monster and Twins is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com and/or other affiliate sites.

Multiples Illuminated Book Review

As a mom of twins, I’m asked lots of questions:

Are they identical?

How did you feed them both?

Are they best friends?

Do they play together?

Do they fight?

Are they alike?

How did you do it with two babies?

When I had the girls, I didn’t know any other moms of multiples that I could ask for advice. Social media and blogging weren’t as “big” as they are now – there were no Facebook groups or blogs that I knew about that could help me navigate my way through mothering two babies at once.

That’s why I was excited to find out that my friend Alison Lee was writing a book that dives deep into the world of raising multiples from moms of twins and triplets and more. I am excited to introduce you to Multiples Illuminated.

See why Multiples Illuminated: A Collection of Stories and Advice From Parents of Twins, Triplets and More is a must read for new and expecting moms of multiples.

Multiples Illuminated: A Must Read!

Here’s a short synopsis:

Multiples Illuminated dives deep into the world of raising multiples with beautiful stories and helpful advice. In it, you will find essays on: Infertility help and hope · Finding out and coping with a multiples pregnancy · Stories of labor and delivery · Stories from the NICU · Breastfeeding best practices for multiples · Surviving the infant and toddler stages

Multiples Illuminated is a compelling collection of stories from writers and parents of multiples, as well as expert advice that is a must-have for all parents and grandparents of multiples. Having multiples is one of the most wonderful and challenging experiences you will have in your life. Whether you’re expecting multiples or a few years into the multiples club, you will find stories you love in Multiples Illuminated. 

I think one of the best things about this book is that it reminds a new or expecting mom of multiples that she’s not alone. That the feelings and thoughts and experiences are normal and others have been there, done that. The stories are full of humor and hope and perspective. There’s practical advice and tips. There’s all kinds of things new moms don’t even consider about raising two (or more!) babies at once.

This was one of my favorite stories from the book: At night, the babies do not have names. We identify them in proximity to ourselves. My baby, your baby. This baby, that baby. Is your baby asleep? This baby is hungry. Our parenting strategy is man-to-man defense. Our strategy is to divide and conquer, conquer being a relative term. – Melanie Sweeney

If you are expecting multiples, are a new mom of multiples, or even if you know someone who is expecting or has multiples, this book is a must read! It’s honest and open and all of the words come from real moms. You can pick up a copy of Multiples Illuminated as a baby shower gift or just because.

And don’t forget to visit the Multiples Illuminated website for all things multiples. Like their Multiples Illuminated Facebook page and follow @MultiplesIllum on Twitter, too!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Multiples Illuminated to read and review. No other compensations was received. All opinions and thoughts are my own.