Hello!

Hey everyone! Remember me? lol

If you’re new here, let me introduce myself a bit first (or re-introduce myself, in case you’ve forgotten)!

My name is Theresa and I’m a twenty-something bookworm. I read from a wide variety of genres and age groups. From contemporary to fantasy to poetry to classics to sci-fi to non-fiction, children’s books to adult – I love them all! So, there’s a little bit of everything on this blog.

When I’m not reading, I’m probably either knitting, dancing, or snuggling my pets (who will pop on this blog from time to time. đŸ„°) I also really like emojis and probably use them way too much, lol!

It’s been quite a while since I last blogged (and after I said I was back “for real this time” 🙈). The past few months I have really thought a lot about what was and was not working for me when it came to blogging. Likewise, I just had my 5th blogging anniversary yesterday. Because of that, I have been thinking about where I want to see my blog in the future.

There’s going to be a few changes around here! For starters, you may notice things look a bit different around here. I have a shiny new domain name! I am now just thecalicobooks.com. There is no longer any .wordpress in the middle! 🎉 The Calico Books also has a new theme! I’m quite happy with these visual changes. It truly feels like a fresh start.

Consistency is coming back into my life again and so that means consistency is coming back into my blogging life as well. No more posting once every five months anymore! I’m going to be realistic though and say I won’t be posting every day either, haha! The goal is 2-3 times a week for now. Some weeks there will be more and some weeks there will be none. But, that’s the goal.

If you’ve been following me for any length of time, I just want to say thank you! I truly appreciate you for sticking with me.

Here’s to five years of The Calico Books and hopefully, many more to come! đŸ„‚

Title: Enter Wild by Carlos Whittaker

Pages: 208

Genres: Nonfiction, Christian Faith

Publisher: Waterbrook & Multnomah (June 16th, 2020)

Summary

Break free from a safe (and boring) faith to truly live the abundant life with all the wonder Jesus promised in John 10:10.

You are meant to receive the abundance God promises here and now. You are not meant to wait until heaven to experience His best. Even in the midst of our broken world’s traumas and trials, you can

– learn to lower the volume of life and truly hear God
– experience what it means to speak God’s Word over yourself for real victory

– discover how to pray His promises instead of praying over the problems

With his trademark blend of humor and transparency, gifted storyteller Carlos Whittaker shares his personal struggle in coping with crippling anxiety–and how the key to his freedom was rediscovering a wild faith. That key can be yours, helping you open the door to leave mild and enter wild.

Enter Wild: Exchange a Mild and Mundane Faith for Life with an Uncontainable God

*I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thanks to the publisher!*

One of my reading goals for 2020 was to expand the types of books I read, which includes reading more nonfiction. As a Christian, I am always looking for new and authentic books to read that help grow my faith. When I read the description of Enter Wild, I just knew that this would be the type of book I was looking for.

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Title: A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

Pages: 484

Genres: YA, Fantasy, Romance, Retellings

Publisher: Bloomsbury YA (Jan. 29, 2019)

Summary

Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1)

I want to start off by saying, I don’t always love fantasy books. Sometimes they’re hard for me to get into and not worth the effort it takes for me, on my part. That being said, when I first read the premise for this book, I knew it was one that I was going to love. I’ve always loved the story of Beauty and the Beast, so this modern twist really kept me intrigued. I’m happy to say that A Curse So Dark and Lonely did not disappoint!

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Title: Human(kind) by Ashlee Eiland

Pages: 224

Genres: Nonfiction, Christian

Publisher: Waterbrook & Multnomah (Apr. 7, 2020)

Summary

A talented storyteller and peacemaker asks: Can kindness kindle a revolution?

“Ashlee teaches by example how to live with courage and compassion, and I believe her perspective and voice will be deeply meaningful to so many people.”–Shauna Niequist

Long before polls, protests, and political issues divided us, we were joined by a humanness that God considered very good. Created in his image, we reflected the height and depth of God’s loving-kindness, but our discord has blinded us to the imago Dei in us all.

In this compelling collection of essays, Ashlee Eiland shares her story of being a black woman living on two sides of the fence: as the token black girl in majority-white spaces and as the “whitewashed” black girl in majority-black spaces. As she discovers her own unique worth through these recollections, Ashlee learns that extending radical kindness toward every person–regardless of social status, political views, or religious beliefs–gives us hope and rekindles our common humanity.

With grace and humility, Human(Kind) invites us to chart our own formative journeys and recognize our inherent value, cultivating empathy so we may once again see the image of God shining brightly within one another

Human(kind): How Reclaiming Human Worth and Embracing Radical Kindness Will Bring Us Back Together

*I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thanks to the publisher!*

This book is about something that I feel so very passionately about: kindness. I feel so thankful to have been given an advanced copy of this book, because it was such an eye-opening, encouraging, and thought-provoking read!

June TBR!

I can hardly believe that it is June! 2020 has been the longest, shortest year ever – if that even makes sense, haha! The summer months are always some of my favorites. I love the warm weather, and there’s nothing better than reading outside in the sun with some iced tea! So, as I’m sure you can guess, I am very excited for June’s TBR. All of these are books I definitely want to read this month, although I’d be pretty happy if I was able to squeeze in a few extra. We shall see! 😉

Without further ado, here’s my June TBR!

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Hello everyone! It has been a long time since I’ve talked to you all last. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know I’ve been keeping up with you all on there, but I haven’t blogged at all since March, and it’s been even longer since I’ve actually blogged consistently.

Like many other people, 2020 has been an extremely difficult and challenging year for me. I am so thankful to have remained physically healthy, but there have been a lot of personal trials and challenges I’ve dealt with this year that has just not given me much energy to blog and, at times, even read. That being said, I feel like I’m finally getting back into a healthy and positive routine. I am also reading more again, so I actually have books to blog about.

So, here I am! I’m finally back blogging! 🎉

To give you a bit of insight as to what you can expect the next few months, my plan is to post a review once or twice a week. I also plan to include another fun post or two each week as well! I’m hoping to stay consistent with this schedule through the summer months, and then in the fall, I’ll reevaluate what my blogging schedule will look like. 🙂

I am super excited to be back though! I have missed writing and talking to you all so much.


Thanks so much for reading! If you have stuck with my blog through the past few months, just know I appreciate you so much!



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where you lead.jpgTitle: Where You Lead by Leslea Wahl

Pages: 249

Genres: YA, Christian Fiction, Contemporary

Publisher: Vinspire (Sept. 15th, 2018)

Summary

A vision from God leads to the adventure of a lifetime.

Sixteen-year-old Eve Donahue’s lonely existence changes in an instant when visions of a mysterious stranger haunt her. Certain God is calling her for a mission, she bravely says yes and begins her quest to meet this young man.

Thousands of miles away, Nick Hammond has been dealing with his own unusual experience, an unwavering certainness to convince his father to run for political office.

When these two unlikely teens finally meet, their belief that God has called them to work together sets them on a journey of faith to untangle a web of deception involving international trade agreements, lost confederate gold, and a blossoming romance. As they follow century old clues, they realize God can call us all in big and small ways. We just need to listen and say, “Yes Lord, I will go where You lead.”

Where You Lead

what i thought

*I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thanks to the publisher, author, and Just Read Tours!*

I had heard some really good things about Where You Lead, so when I was given the opportunity to review this one, I was so excited!  I am happy to say that this book did not disappoint.

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amish covert operation.jpgTitle: Amish Covert Operation by Meghan Carver

Pages: 244

Genres: Romance, Mystery/Suspense, Amish, Christian Fiction

Publisher: Love Inspired Suspense (July 1st, 2019)

Summary

Can an agent in disguise keep her safe?

After Amish widow Katie Schwartz’s search for her reclusive brother results in a shooting and her finding a cryptic message, she must rely on federal agent Adam Troyer to shield her. But, undercover as a Plain man, can Adam save her brother’s life and protect Katie? Trusting the handsome Englisch agent is already dangerous
but falling for him could risk everything Katie holds dear.

Amish Covert Operation 

what i thought

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inloveathon tbr

Hi everyone! I don’t know about you, but I love Valentine’s Day.  I just love all the pinks and reds and just the overall love all around. 💕😍 So, of course, I was so excited to see that the InLoveAThonwas back this year.  It’s one of my favorite readathons!

This year, the dates run from today, February 9th, through the 15th.  And today, I’m sharing my TBR with you all.  So, here we go!

This year, the InLoveAThon is following a choose-your-own adventure type of map, which I love.  I love when readathons give you challenge options!

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hiddenseeTitle: Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

Pages: 304

Genres: Fantasy, Retelling

Publisher: William Morrow (Oct. 31st, 2017)

Summary

From the author of the beloved #1 New York Times bestseller Wicked, the magical story of a toymaker, a nutcracker, and a legend remade . . .

Gregory Maguire returns with an inventive novel inspired by a timeless holiday legend, intertwining the story of the famous Nutcracker with the life of the mysterious toy maker named Drosselmeier who carves him.

Hiddensee: An island of white sandy beaches, salt marshes, steep cliffs, and pine forests north of Berlin in the Baltic Sea, an island that is an enchanting bohemian retreat and home to a large artists’ colony—a wellspring of inspiration for the Romantic imagination . . .

Having brought his legions of devoted readers to Oz in Wicked and to Wonderland in After Alice, Maguire now takes us to the realms of the Brothers Grimm and E. T. A. Hoffmann—the enchanted Black Forest of Bavaria and the salons of Munich. Hiddensee imagines the backstory of the Nutcracker, revealing how this entrancing creature came to be carved and how he guided an ailing girl named Klara through a dreamy paradise on a Christmas Eve. At the heart of Hoffmann’s mysterious tale hovers Godfather Drosselmeier—the ominous, canny, one-eyed toy maker made immortal by Petipa and Tchaikovsky’s fairy tale ballet—who presents the once and future Nutcracker to Klara, his goddaughter.

But Hiddensee is not just a retelling of a classic story. Maguire discovers in the flowering of German Romanticism ties to Hellenic mystery-cults—a fascination with death and the afterlife—and ponders a profound question: How can a person who is abused by life, shortchanged and challenged, nevertheless access secrets that benefit the disadvantaged and powerless? Ultimately, Hiddensee offers a message of hope. If the compromised Godfather Drosselmeier can bring an enchanted Nutcracker to a young girl in distress on a dark winter evening, perhaps everyone, however lonely or marginalized, has something precious to share.

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker 

what i thought

Hiddensee was such a unique and intriguing retelling.  It’s a book that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but for one reason or another, kept putting it off.  Since 2020 is the year I want to get my TBR down, I thought that it would be the perfect book to kick off my reading for the year.

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