This Week’s Reads and Happenings: Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry – Hatchet & The River by Gary Paulsen #Reading #AmReading #Books

This has been a crazy week so far! On Monday came the freeze, which is going to last most of this week. I had to get all of our plants out of the greenhouse and into the garage which was a big project. As much as I love winter, when it comes in late like this and ruins spring flowers, it’s a total drag. Our lilacs were going to bloom, but I doubt they will now, and that’s something I look forward to every year. At least we were able to enjoy the trees in bloom for a few days. Walking outside yesterday to the woods, now turned white, after everything was so lush, green, and beautiful was just bizarre.

One of my sons has been sick since Monday with some sort of strange flare up, which threw him into a fever last night. He’s not tolerating it well. I’m hoping the doctor doesn’t find anything serious going on. This is the second time this has happened in the last six weeks. I’m afraid it could be something autoimmune with our family genetics, but I’m hopeful it won’t be. This just heightens my anxiety issues, which is so stupid. Anxiety is such a waste of time. Good thing the pups are so supportive!

It’s normal life stuff, right? I’m just not dealing with it well, but I’m striving to stay positive. This too shall pass!

There are some beautiful things happening. My mom is coming home this week for the summer. I’m also getting my second vaccine on Thursday, which will be nice to get out of the way. The close friend I spoke about in the “Vaccine Shaming” post has decided to get vaccinated after all and on his own accord. And, our outdoor female cat had kittens over the weekend. She’s the only outdoor cat we have that isn’t fixed. Some of you who’ve been following me for some time might remember Toby’s story. This mother cat is Toby’s sister.

I just finished up a few books:

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

I enjoyed this book and reviewed it a few days ago. You can read my review by clicking here.

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

This was a spontaneous read for the retelling reading challenge. It turned out to be enjoyable. I read the physical book along with the audio and recommend them both. This book is beautiful. You can read my review by clicking here.

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

My middle graders decided to read Gary Paulsen’s series Brian’s Saga. I couldn’t be happier because he’s one of my favorite authors, and I love this series. I’ve read this one probably three or four times and never tire of it. It was nice to see the kids so engrossed while reading Hatchet. We read this in one sitting because they had no interest in stopping. We’re moving right on to The River today.

Blurb for Hatchet:

Brian is on his way to Canada to visit his estranged father when the pilot of his small prop plane suffers a heart attack. Brian is forced to crash-land the plane in a lake–and finds himself stranded in the remote Canadian wilderness with only his clothing and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present before his departure. 

Brian had been distraught over his parents’ impending divorce and the secret he carries about his mother, but now he is truly desolate and alone. Exhausted, terrified, and hungry, Brian struggles to find food and make a shelter for himself. He has no special knowledge of the woods, and he must find a new kind of awareness and patience as he meets each day’s challenges. Is the water safe to drink? Are the berries he finds poisonous? 

Slowly, Brian learns to turn adversity to his advantage–an invading porcupine unexpectedly shows him how to make fire, a devastating tornado shows him how to retrieve supplies from the submerged airplane. Most of all, Brian leaves behind the self-pity he has felt about his predicament as he summons the courage to stay alive. 

A story of survival and of transformation, this riveting book has sparked many a reader’s interest in venturing into the wild.


Two years after Brian Robeson survived fifty-four days alone in the Canadian wilderness, the government wants him to head back so they can learn what he did to stay alive. This time Derek Holtzer, a government psychologist, will accompany him. But a freak storm leaves Derek unconscious. Brian’s only hope is to transport Derek a hundred miles down the river to a trading post. He’s survived with only a hatchet before–now can Brian build a raft and navigate an unknown river?
For the first time it’s not only Brian’s survival that’s at stake. . .

My personal choice this week:

Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry

This is one I picked up weeks ago, but as usual, I veered off track and started reading something else. I’ve seen many positive reviews for it. You can read Teri Polen’s excellent review here.


In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award-longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story. 

The Torres sisters dream of escape. Escape from their needy and despotic widowed father, and from their San Antonio neighborhood, full of old San Antonio families and all the traditions and expectations that go along with them. In the summer after her senior year of high school, Ana, the oldest sister, falls to her death from her bedroom window. A year later, her three younger sisters, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa, are still consumed by grief and haunted by their sister’s memory. Their dream of leaving Southtown now seems out of reach. But then strange things start happening around the house: mysterious laughter, mysterious shadows, mysterious writing on the walls. The sisters begin to wonder if Ana really is haunting them, trying to send them a message—and what exactly she’s trying to say.

In a stunning follow-up to her National Book Award–longlisted novel All the Wind in the World, Samantha Mabry weaves an aching, magical novel that is one part family drama, one part ghost story, and one part love story.

So that’s it for me this week. What do you have going on this week? What are you reading? Let’s chat in the comment’s section below!

❤️ Mischenko

29 thoughts on “This Week’s Reads and Happenings: Tigers, Not Daughters by Samantha Mabry – Hatchet & The River by Gary Paulsen #Reading #AmReading #Books

    1. Very smart! It’s good to be prepared. I’ve been hearing about go-bags lately. One of my friends on Goodreads was talking about how he made bags for everyone is his family. This is a goal for me now. Thanks for your kind comment. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We’ve had a little documents go-bag for years ever since my sister bought us one. But I wanted something that was more “general survival” than just our important docs. I hope to have it created and fully stocked by years end.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. We’re having a cold spell here also, but only supposed to last a couple nights. Hate to hear that about your lilacs – I remember the smell of them from my grandmother’s house when I was little. Hope your son gets to feeling better! Those kittens are too precious – I haven’t seen young ones like that in quite a while. And thanks for the shoutout!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I looked at the map yesterday and couldn’t believe how many this freeze is affecting, all the way down to Texas. Crazy. This has happened before, and I always dread it, because it always stops the lilacs from blooming. Not major, but still a bummer.

      Thanks, Teri. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Michael Mclellan

    Spring feeze…bummer. It seems like I lose something every spring here to a late freeze. Usually in May. Last year I lost half of my tomatoes. Hopefully you were able to save everything. I’m sorry to hear about your boy, sending good vibes your way. Hereditary autoimmune would be unfortunate so I’ll go on the hope it’s something more garden variety. Likely it is.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I remember you losing some of your plants last year, Michael. It’s so devastating when you put all that work in. Luckily, we’ve taken them all to safety, but the garage is like a jungle now. By the weekend I hope to have everything back in its place.

      I’m trying to stay positive, but I don’t like that it’s happened twice now. The first time we took it as a stomach bug. Now that it’s rearing its ugly head again, and with a fever, it makes me nervous. I have sympathy for anyone dealing with autoimmune issues, that’s for sure.

      Thank you for your kind comment. I hope everything is going well with you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. starjustin

    The pic of the blooming trees with the snow on the ground is so beautiful and so springy.
    I’m happy to be home and look forward to the summer.
    I’m glad to see my grandson feeling better too!
    Home is where the heart is! ♥️ 🏡


  4. I hope your son is doing better now. It is nice that your mom will be home, I know you two are close. Yes that last blast of winter took us all by surprise. I’m not sure what it will do to the fruit trees that were already budding, but time will tell. Those kittens are so sweet. Will you find homes for them or keep them all? Lovely post Jen and I hope all went well with your second shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Carla. He’s better, but he’s still having problems. I’m hopeful it won’t be anything serious.

      The kittens we’ll likely keep. We have a handful of outdoor cats—some we’ve had for over a decade. We only have one cat that isn’t fixed.

      The second shot was horrid. 😂 I had the worst aches and pains and fever. But, at least I know it worked and put some fire into my immune system. Hopefully I won’t have a flare up this time like I did my last.

      You guys are getting ready to open back up soon, right? I’m sure you can’t wait. Take care, Carla. ❤️


      1. Sounds like things are a bit better this time around for you. I know they say you should feel some discomfort and mild flu like symptoms to know your body is developing immunities, but we always want them to be mild. Right now the tentative date for reopening is May 20th, so we have just over three weeks to go. Our case rate is high in the province, so we shall see. I know many people that are not planning on getting the shot, so we shall see how that effects things. Take care. 💞

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. He’s dropped the fever but still has pain. Autoimmune disorders are such a pain! I feel for you guys. The only thing we can do is strive hard to live the best lives we can. Thank you and hope you’re well. 😉


        1. That’s exactly what it is. Starts in the stomach and moves through his gut. This is the second time it’s happened, but both times it was Pizza Hut pizza that caused it. It started the second day both times and lasted about 4 days total each time. His fever is gone now after a few days of a liquid diet, and he’s back to eating bland foods, but he still has some cramps.

          I’ve been on him about eating healthier, but he’s old enough to make his own food decisions now and chooses to still eat out, albeit once in a while. I think the next step is getting a scope done.

          I’ve been gluten free for over 4 years because I discovered I couldn’t have it. I don’t see it being that big of a deal, but he does. He doesn’t want to change his diet, but I’ve told him he needs to or he may be sick and in the hospital.

          I hope yours is under control now and that it wasn’t too hard to get diagnosed. I wasn’t aware you could get a fever with celiac disease. That’s interesting. Thank you for your kind messages. ❤️


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