Tuesday, July 26, 2022

My First Actual Free Little Pantry Find


I'm sure you've all heard about Little Free Libraries by now and may have even found a few of them yourselves out in the wild... Or perhaps, even better, you're a steward of a Little Free Library of your very own!!

As many of my blog followers may already know, I am an avid lover of Little Free Libraries and seek them out as frequently as feasibly possible. I love finding LFLs and exchanging my already read books for other gently used books that look like interesting ones to read. Sometimes I get lucky and find books I have listed on my reading wishlist inside LFLs.

However, earlier this month while in Concord, California, my husband and I found something different. We stumbled upon our very first Little Free Food Pantry purely by accident outside a Lutheran Church. We'd heard about Little Free Food Pantries before, but we'd never seen one in person until a couple of weekends ago.

The interesting thing is that we'd stopped by the Lutheran Church with the sole purpose of leaving five books inside a Little Free Library on the premises. It just so happened that they also had a Little Free Food Pantry onsite as well... So with that in mind, we meandered over to the other side of the property and voila, we saw our very first Little Free Food Pantry sighting!! 
Have you seen a Little Free Food Pantry in person before? They're pretty cool, am I right?

Tuesday, July 19, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday - FREEBIE - My Top TEN Reads From the First Half of 2022!!!


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. Top Ten Tuesday was originally created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Below are my top ten favorite reads for the first half of 2022!! All ten books received a five out of five star rating by yours truly. I've listed the books in order in which I read them.

Have you read any of the books in my Top Ten Tuesday post? Let me know in the comment section below!

1. My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor 5/5 stars

2. My Life As A White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland 5/5 stars

3. The Secrets Between Us by Thrity Umrigar 5/5 stars

4. Jubilee by Margaret Walker 5/5 stars

5. Gender: A World History by Susan Kingsley Kent 5/5 stars

6. The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod 5/5 stars

7. The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson 5/5 stars

8. The Modern Gentleman by Meghan Quinn 5/5 stars

9. Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride 5/5 stars

10. A Dowry of Blood by S. T. Gibson 5/5 stars

Thursday, June 30, 2022

New to Me Little Free Libraries I Have Discovered During the First Half of 2022!

Yes, I am still striving to visit as many new to me Little Free Libraries as I possibly can! I absolutely L-O-V-E spreading the joy of reading books by leaving physical books at Little Free Libraries and taking used books back home with me to read in return!

Below are the fifteen new to me Little Free Libraries I have discovered so far in 2022.

Kensington, California

Danville, California

San Ramon, California

Livermore, California

Livermore, California

Livermore, California

Livermore, California

Castro Valley, California

Castro Valley, California

Orinda, California

Orinda, California

Mill Valley, California

Mill Valley, California

Mill Valley, California

San Ramon, California

The Snoopy themed Little Free Library in Kensington, California has to be my favorite new to me Little Free Library find this year to date.

Do you enjoy finding Little Free Libraries too? I feel blessed to have found so many cute ones over the years. Plus, I have found so many wishlist books inside LFLs too, which makes finding LFLs all the more fun to find!

Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Top Ten LGBTQIA Themed Books to Read During Pride Month

I have read the following ten books, which fit into the LBGQTIA category in some way or another. I enjoyed reading all of the following books. I hope you do too if you haven't read any of them yet! 

If you have read any of the following books, please let me know what you think about the books you have read in the comments section below.

1. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

2. George by Alex Gino

3. Juliet Takes A Breath by Gabby Rivera

4. Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality by Sarah McBride

5. Passing Strange by Ellen Klages

6. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

7. Less by Andrew Sean Greer

8. The Horse Mistress by R. A. Steffan

9. Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters

10. Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown

Also, share with me any LBGQTIA books you've read and enjoyed over the years!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

How to Find Free, Full-Length Audiobooks on YouTube!!

 I am an avid audiobook lover and have listened to over 40 audiobooks alone this year so far! 

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a short YouTube video that discusses how to find and listen to FREE, full-length audiobooks on YouTube. 

So, if you're an avid audiobook listener like myself, then check out the above YouTube video to discover where to find free audiobooks on YouTube. 

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Chirp Audiobooks - A Review


I am ADDICTED to audiobooks!! In fact, ALL of the 27 books I've read this year in 2022, have been audiobooks... That's if you consider listening to audiobooks reading, which I certainly do.

Here's a short history of my audiobook listening experience before I share my review of Chirp. 

I initially began my experience of listening to audiobooks on cassette tape WAY back in the day. Granted I didn't listen to audiobooks all that frequently during this time frame. I eventually moved on to listening to audiobooks on compact disc. I didn't immediately fall in love with audiobooks as buying them on cassette tape and compact disc could be very pricey. Plus, I loved reading physical books more than listening to them at the time.

Slowly, I began to fall in love with listening to audiobooks and eventually became a staunch Audible member around 2014. From there, I used Audible's services almost exclusively for a number of years with an occasional audiobook on compact disc mixed in here and there.

Then in January of 2021, I first learned about Chirp and wrote a blog post about Chirp here on my blog. I was already using Audible heavily in 2021 as I'd received 12 credits/ renewed membership to Audible from my husband for Christmas in 2020. Long story short, Chirp wasn't even something I wanted to use/try at that time as my audiobook needs were being met through Audible.

However, I decided to let my Audible subscription membership lapse at the end of 2021 as I already have so many physical books, ebooks, and audiobooks to read that I thought it would be a nice change of pace to take a year off from Audible.

Then in March of this year, I remembered learning about Chirp last year. I was curious about Chirps's audiobook service, so I decided to give them a shot by trying them out last month. I downloaded the free Chirp app to my iPad and listened to my very first audiobook download, Murder Most Pemberley by Jessica Berg, a cozy mystery novel that is the first novel in a series. I was able to purchase Murder Most Pemberley by Jessica Berg for 99 cents as part of Chirps limited time deals.

After listening to Murder Most Pemberley by Jessica Berg on the Chirp app and having a positive experience with using the Chirp app, I decided to download several more books and have listened to a total of 16 books with no glitches using the Chirp app. Quite frankly, I've fallen in love with Chirp and become addicted to their service. I've downloaded more than 45 audiobooks in all.

So, what do I love about Chirp audiobooks? NO SUBSCRIPTION FEE is the biggest perk for me!! Limited Time Deals on audiobooks where one can save up to 95% off the price of an audiobook and Money-back guarantee feature (although I have not had to use this feature to date). 

All of the audiobooks I have purchased from Chirp have been one of their limited time deals. I enjoy not paying full price for books. Plus, I've discovered many new to me authors and also acquired many of my wishlist books through buying audiobooks through Chirp's limited time deals. I am DEFINITELY a Chirp convert for sure! I recommend Chirp to those that enjoy listening to audiobooks.

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Today Marks My 10 Year Blogiversary!!! Plus Farewell!!


Wow, it was ten years ago today I started 'Captivated Reader' and what a journey it has been the past ten years! Honestly, I never expected to be blogging this long.

How Did I Start Blogging?

It all started with a desire to start blogging a few year before I actually began blogging on January 1, 2012. I kind of toyed with the idea of blogging off and on for a few years before I gave it some serious thought in the Autumn of 2011. During the Autumn of 2011, I checked out blogging platforms, decided that I wanted my blog to be about all things books and anything pertaining to books, and then finally coming up with blog name... My first choice for a blog name wasn't 'Captivated Reader'. I can't even remember now what my first choice name was for my blog was. In fact, I had to choice several names before I finally discovered 'Captivated Reader' was available on this platform.

Finding My Blogging Groove

Over the years, I played around with blogging topics for my book blog. I discovered memes, quotes, Little Free Libraries, and more to write about over the course of the past ten years. I searched Google endlessly for bookish related news. Essentially, I tried to be as creative as possible when it came to blog topics that fit into the realm of all things book related. I even played around a bit with book reviews in the beginning before my reviews came to be what they are presently. 

I learned a lot about various book related topics that I may not have learned about before I began blogging. All this work in the name of coming up with new topics to blog about to attract and keep readers interested in my blog.

Making Connections With Readers & Bloggers

I am so grateful for all of my blog readers, followers, and all of those that have left comments on my various blog posts over the past ten years. I feel truly blessed in making connections with other book lovers, readers, and fellow bloggers! Thank you for making 'Captivated Reader' a success over the years. Your readership has kept me motivated in creating new content over the year.

Final Thoughts & Farewell

As much as I have thoroughly enjoyed keeping 'Captivated Reader' going the past decade, it's time for me discontinue posting to my blog for now and move on to other endeavors. 

I have truly enjoyed keeping a book blog and interacting with other readers and bloggers over the years. However, I have other areas of my life that require my attention at the moment. So, it's time for me to move on. I will miss reviewing books I've read, posting about my Little Free Library discoveries, and so on.

I will keep 'Captivated Reader' up as it is currently... Perhaps one day, I will return to blogging in the future. In the meantime, I will miss you all! Happy reading to you all now and in the future. Hope you have a happy, joyous, peaceful, and healthy 2022 and beyond. Warm wishes, Lisa @ Captivated Reader.

Friday, December 31, 2021

End of the Year Wrap Up Post


I can't believe we've reached the end of 2021. This year has gone by fairly swiftly despite the fact we're still in a worldwide pandemic and life hasn't fully returned to normal. 

Good news on the reading front for me! I met or exceeded most of my 2021 Reading Goals in all areas except for one. Click on above link to read my original post stating my 2021 reading goals.

This year, I accomplished the following:

* I read a grand total of 107 books in 2021. My original goal had been to read only 60 books this year, so I happily exceeded my reading goals for 2021.
* I read 5 trilogies in 2021. So, I met my goal of reading 5 trilogies this year.
* My goal had been to read 15 books I'd received for FREE through the Goodreads Giveaway program. I ONLY read 7 books from this category, so I didn't reach my original reading goal for this category.

I read a lot of books that were on my reading wishlist this year: 

1. Flygirl by Sherri L Smith
2. Asking for It: The Alarming Rise of Rape Culture and What We Can Do About It by Kate Harding
3. The Taster by V.S. Alexander
4. Conan Doyle for the Defense: The True Story of a Sensational British Murder, a Quest for Justice, and the World's Most Famous Detective Writer by Margalit Fox
5. Euphoria by Lily King
6. Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer
7. The Seance by John Harwood
8. The Wolf Hunt Trilogy by Jeff Strand
9. Fantasticland by Mike Bockoven
10. The Torment of Rachel Ames by Jeff Gunhus
11. Hearts In Darkness by Laura Kaye
12. Love in the Light by Laura Kaye
13. Toni Tennille: A Memoir by Toni Tennille

I've also read many new to me authors like Ursula K. Le Guin, Gary D. Schmidt, and Xhenet Aliu... Or other books written by authors I've enjoyed reading in prior years like Allen Eskens or Jules Verne.

Overall, I had a great year of reading during 2021. How'd you do this year in terms of reading? Did you met your reading goals? What are reading goals for 2022?

Thursday, December 30, 2021

First Quarter 2022 Reading Goals

Here's my tentative reading lineup for the 1st quarter of 20221! I say 'tentative' because I usually end up making some changes along the way in terms of what I end up actually reading.

In 2022, I'll also be trying to reduce my plethora of physical books and move them along to Little Free Libraries for others to enjoy reading... This means I'll also attempt to minimize the amount of ebooks or Audible books I usually enjoy reading throughout the year in an attempt to move some of my physical books along to other readers. I REALLY LOVE listening to audiobooks, so scaling back on listening to books is going to take some diligence on my part.

Hopefully, I will not be buying or acquiring any new books as gifts in 2022. Good luck with this goal as I have a book addiction problem! 

Anyway, all the books in the photo above start with the word 'the' interestingly enough. Additionally, I have a couple of books I started this year that I will most likely finish in early 2022 as I probably won't have enough time to finish reading them this year.

Have you started planning your reading goals for 2022?