Reading is my ESCAPE from Reality!

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 


-- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Lifeboat 12

Lifeboat 12 - Susan Hood

Audience: Grades 4 & up

Format: Audiobook/Library


I shouldn't do it.

- first line

This book is based on a true story of kids that were travelling on the SS City of Benares to Canada to escape the Nazi bombing of London. When the ship is torpedoed, Ken (13) and other survivors are left on Lifeboat 12 in the middle of the ocean. It's the little details in this book that make it so impactful. Ken was supposed to be on a different lifeboat, the young woman who makes up stories for the boys, the one sailor who acts crazy to make everyone laugh.
The story is told in verse, so I recommend reading a written copy more than the audio (or maybe both together). The audio is very well done and I could hear the emphasis and lyricism in the narrator's voice. The story is compelling and shows the importance of believing in yourself and each other and joining together to survive. Highly recommended. A 6-8 Sunshine State nominated book for 2020-21.

The Returned by Jason Mott

The Returned - Jason Mott

Audience: Adult

Format: Hardcover/Owned


Harold opened the door that day to find a dark-skinned man in a well-cut suit smiling at him.

- first sentence

This book was okay. People start returning from the dead, not coming back from the grave, but just appearing in places all over the world. There is no pattern to where they appear or who returns, or how long they've been dead. So many of them come back that the "true living" get nervous. The returned are placed into camps and it just goes downhill from there (as we would expect). Imagine the religious objections, the people who don't accept those who are different, etc.
The book is well-written, but I found it just ok.

Tool of War - Paolo Bacigalupi

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Hardcover/owned


The drone circled high above the wreckage of war.

- first sentence


The third book set in the Drowned Cities universe brings us full circle by including characters from both previous books. It was great to see everything connected and to see Nailer back. I enjoyed the book, but Ship Breaker will always be my favorite from this universe. Tool is like the Terminator - he never gives up and almost can't be killed.

The City of Mirrors by Justin Cronin

The City of Mirrors: A Novel (Book Three of The Passage Trilogy) - Justin Cronin

This final book in the series was just as good as the rest. An amazing story that I was sorry to see come to an end. I love the way everything tied together in a period of time that lasted over a thousand years!


After reading the whole thing, I watched The Passage tv show (it aired on FOX last year and was cancelled). It was ok. They changed a lot but I can see why. At the end of the series, they moved forward in time just like the book and were going to start where book 2 begins (I think). It could have been amazing... but it would never have compared to the books. :)

The Twelve by Justin Cronin

The Twelve - Justin Cronin

Book 2 in an EPIC series. I loved every minute of it.


(I'm not putting much effort into these reviews because I have no idea if the site will even work.)

Booklikes-opoly 2020 Roll #4

Last roll I landed on Space #19, and read a book whose cover is more than 50% blue:


The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman which is 259 pages ($3.00)


Current Bank: $23.00


My next roll:


Landing me on:


A Science Fiction book is an easy one for me. I'm going to read Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi. 




The Ocean at the End of the Lane - audiobook

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Audience: Adult

Format: Audiobook/Owned



It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm.

- first sentence


Neil Gaiman's voice is amazing. I loved listening to him narrate this story. Basically this story is about growing up and how at seven years old, adults seem so big and important, yet disconnected from childhood. The narrator of the book is an adult who is remembering an event that occurred in his childhood (when it is so much easier to believe in magic and monsters).


I enjoyed the story and especially the narrator's childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock. It was a quick listen and had some creepy parts. It is interesting how much differently we see things as adults compared to how it seems to children. 


I read this for Booklikes-opoly Pandemic Edition, space #19 as a book whose cover is more than 50% blue.

Last Firehawk Book #8 - The Silver Swamp

The Silver Swamp - Katrina Charman

Audience: Early Elementary (1st-3rd)

Format: Ebook/Library Copy


Tag and Skyla stood in a dusty clearing and examined the magical map.

- first sentence

This is a cute story, with animal main characters who are on a quest. This is the first book of the series I read, but the kids at school love it. There is an introduction at the beginning of the book to remind kids what the characters are currently facing (the story continues from book to book).  The Branches books are a gentle bridge into chapter books for early readers. They still have pictures, but the stories are more complex and interesting. A great series for kids who like magical animals and adventure.

Booklikes-opoly 2020 Roll #3

On to my next roll...


Current Bank $20.00



This lands me on:



My read for this space is going to be The Ocean at the End of the Lane. The cover is mostly blue because it is underwater.


Hunger Games Trilogy - reread (listen)

The Hunger Games - Suzanne  Collins, Tatiana Maslany Catching Fire - Suzanne  Collins Mockingjay - Suzanne  Collins



After reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, I was inspired to reread the Hunger Games trilogy. I was amazed by how much I forgot or misremembered. Then again, my last exposure to this world was probably the movies. :)


I still love these books so much!!

The Passage by Justin Cronin

The Passage - Justin Cronin

Audience: Adult

Format: eBook/Library Copy


Before she became the Girl from Nowhere -- the One Who Walked In, the First and Last and Only, who lived a thousand years -- she was just a little girl in Iowa, named Amy.

- opening sentence



This book is amazing. I bought it several years ago for some reason that I can't remember. Maybe it was the comparisons to Stephen King or maybe it was King's own words, "a trilogy that will stand as one of the great achievements in American fantasy fiction." Then, last year, a tv show called The Passage aired, starring Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Agent Wolgast. I enjoyed the show and when I saw The Passage on my kindle, I decided to read it.


The action in this story occurs all around the United States (in Philadelphia, Colorado, Oregon, California, Texas, etc.) and across a hundred years and I loved every minute of it. I couldn't put the book down and immediately started book 2 when I finished (at 897 pages that's saying something). A government agency scientist is exploring an ancient virus he discovered and using it on death row inmates. Of course, the government loses control, and the Virals (basically vampires) escape ending the world. We don't get to see too many details but later the book resumes after 100 years passes. I was surprised by the time jump, but it works and it ends up all tying together which was very satisfying.


Highly recommended! 

Booklikes-opoly 2020 Roll #2

Well, I couldn't find anything that fit space #9 that I wanted to read. So, I am rolling again today.



Opening bank: $20.00


That lands me on:



I'm looking but I haven't seen anything that matches this on my physical shelf. I am hoping to read some physical books with this game since I tend to read ebooks or listen to audiobooks more often (and hopefully cut down on the unread books sitting on my shelf). So, I think I will roll again tomorrow. I think the rule is we can roll every day now, but correct me if I'm wrong.


Stepping Stones - graphic novel

Stepping Stones - Lucy Knisley

Audience: Middle Grade

Format: Ebook/Library Copy


Things I miss about the city:

- second panel 


This is a cute story about a girl whose mom moved her from the city to a farm in the country. Jen doesn't like the farm and doesn't want to take care of chickens. She misses her dad who is still in the city. Her parents are divorced and Jen's mom has moved to the farm with Walter, "her new BFF."


Jen is a sweet girl and I totally understood her issues. When Walter's two daughters from his previous marriage come to the farm on weekends, it is a challenge for Jen to adjust (she is an only child). But she ends up learning from the girls and they learn from her as well. The message of the book is that everyone is good at something and nobody is good at everything, but everyone is important.


Cute and recommended for fans of Smile, Roller Girl, Drama, etc.

The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes - audiobook

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes - Suzanne  Collins

Audience: Young Adult

Format: Audiobook/Library Copy



Coriolanus released the fistful of cabbage into the pot of boiling water and swore that one day it would never pass his lips again.

- first sentence


This is a prequel to the Hunger Games series, set during the tenth Hunger Games (Katniss volunteers for the 74th Hunger Games). Coriolanus Snow is a teenager and in school. He and some of his classmates are selected to mentor the 24 tributes. Snow is irritated when he is chosen to mentor the girl from District 12 - Lucy Gray Baird.


Snow's family is poor (a result of the war with the districts) but he doesn't want anyone to know. He sees himself as better than pretty much everyone else, especially people from the districts. His chilly attitude and selfishness make him difficult to like, then again we aren't supposed to like him, are we. 


The book wasn't as exciting or page-turning as the original series, but I enjoyed it. The ending was expected but still sad and unfortunate. The one thing this book did was make me want to reread the original series.



Booklikes-opoly 2020 Roll #1

My first roll is a 9.




Now I'm trying to pick a book...




Booklikes-opoly 2020 Board

As I just found out about this game, I am a bit behind. But I am happy to join regardless. I will roll later today as I have some work to do first. 




Currently reading

Tracing The Trails: A Constant Reader's Reflections on the Work of Stephen King
Chad CLark, Duncan Ralston, Richard Chizmar

Reading is my Escape's Read 2018 book montage

The Man in the Iron Mask
Truly Madly Guilty
The Reptile Room
The Wide Window
The Miserable Mill
The Austere Academy
The Hero Two Doors Down: Based on the True Story of Friendship Between a Boy and a Baseball Legend
The Ersatz Elevator
The Vile Village
The Hostile Hospital
The Nerdy Dozen
The Carnivorous Carnival
The Iron Giant
The Slippery Slope

Reading is my Escape's favorite books »

2018 Reading Challenge

2018 Reading Challenge
Reading is my Escape has read 0 books toward her goal of 100 books.

Trish’s quotes

Goodreads Quotes
Red Epic Reads Badge