This Week’s Reads: The Princess Bride – Smoke and Mirrors – The Graveyard Book – Horses & Ponies #amreading #books #bookblog

Hello all! How’s life going? I’m pleased to announce that this week has been easier for all of us. My daughter is feeling better after contracting Covid-19; although, she does still have some strange symptoms. Luckily, they haven’t been debilitating. What she’s dealing with now seems to be lingering headaches, lack of taste and smell, fatigue, and coldness. She should be able to be free of quarantine in the next few days. I’d like to thank everyone who commented and offered well wishes last week. It was much-needed.

Because my daughter was feeling good enough to get back to reading a few days ago, they’re just about to finish up The Graveyard Book.

The kids have enjoyed this book. Unfortunately, I was distracted and lost and therefore gave up on it. I’m still trying to listen in to see what’s happening. They’re reading the audio along with the physical. The story is basically about a boy who’s dropped off at a graveyard by his dying mother, and he’s left to be raised by the ghosts who reside there. A very interesting story, but one that requires attention I couldn’t give this week.



Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy – an ancient indigo man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible fleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will be in danger from the man Jack – who has already killed Bod’s family . . .

I’m back to my Gaiman marathon now that things have settled down. Currently, I’m reading Smoke and Mirrors which is a compilation of short fiction stories. I’m enjoying it, but a few of the story endings have left me displeased. I’ve always enjoyed short stories because I can read them at night before bed without crashing, especially those that are quite short in length.


The astonishing and impressive first collection of short stories from New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman

An elderly widow finds the Holy Grail beneath an old fur coat in a second-hand store . . .

A stray cat fights and refights a nightly battle to protect his adoptive family from an unimaginable evil . . .

A young couple receives a wedding gift that will reveal a chilling alternate history of their marriage . . .

Beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks, a frightened little boy bargains for his life with a most persistent troll . . .

Such miraculous inventions and more await within Neil Gaiman’s first collection of short fiction, a gift of wonder and delight from one of the most unique literary artists of our day. In his capable hands, magic is no mere illusion, but a powerful means to reveal the nature of our humanity obscured in the smoke of our fears and anxieties . . . and reflected in the funhouse mirrors of our dreams.

I’m in need of some comfort reading, so The Princess Bride is my main book pick for this week. I picked up this beautiful hardcover edition at Barnes and Noble last month. This is a reread for me, and that’s exactly what I need: something familiar. The movie has been a favorite since I was a child. This book has some lovely illustrations within, which is always a plus.


Here William Goldman’s beloved story of Buttercup, Westley, and their fellow adventurers finally receives a beautiful illustrated treatment.

A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beasts — The Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchman, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and rescued once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

My youngest daughter has picked a horse book for us this week: This one is an Usborne storybook titled Usborne Illustrated Stories of Horses & Ponies. It’s filled with magical stories about horses.


A wonderfully illustrated collection of timeless myths and fairytales about horses and ponies. Perfect for horse and pony lovers, or children who simply want to be whisked away to a magical world of adventure. Stunning illustrations, coupled with top-of-the-range production values, make this a beautiful gift that will appeal to horse and pony-mad children on any special occasion. Seventeen traditional tales include The Magician’s Horse, The Black Stallion, Pegasus – and lots more enchanting tales.

These are traditional fairy tales, all involving horses with sweet endings. This isn’t the first time we’ve been in this book, but we’re reading it from front to back this time. I’m enjoying this book as much as she is. The illustrations are captivating. Pictures don’t do it justice.

Finally, we’re finishing up The Return of the Indian. We only have a few chapters left. This book has been even more enjoyable than the first. Omri decided to start playing with the cabinet again, so you can imagine the adventure. Hopefully, I’ll have this one up for the next Shabby Sunday.

I just finished up with Cold Hearted by Serena Valentino. If you’d like to see that review, please just click the image below. The retelling challenge is going well. I don’t think I’ll have any issues complete my goals for 2021; in fact, I may go above and beyond!

So, that’s it for us this week. What are you reading? How’s your summer going? Are you looking forward to reading this fall? I certainly am. Let’s chat about anything in the comment section.

❤️ Mischenko

29 thoughts on “This Week’s Reads: The Princess Bride – Smoke and Mirrors – The Graveyard Book – Horses & Ponies #amreading #books #bookblog

    1. We tried the full-cast audio, which was amazing at first. I noticed that some of the dialogue was missing, and so we went to read Neil Gaiman’s narration instead because he follows word for word with the physical book. He does an amazing job on the characters though. Maybe I’ll go back and just listen to the full-cast audio as you did. Thank you so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thankyou for recommending Neil Gaiman’s audiobooks-my copy of Coraline has just become available and I’m really looking forward to listening to it!
    Have fun re-reading the castle…I meant storming the Princess Bride…you know what I mean…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, we loved Coraline. I hope you do too. For that one I believe we read it out loud versus using the audio, but I can’t remember as it’s been years. You’ll have to let me know what you think about it! It’s one of their favorite movies too, and it was so fun seeing what was different in the book versus the movie. ❤️


  2. I read the graphic novel version of The Graveyard Book a couple of years ago as my library had it. It is a two book set and I enjoyed it. Believe it or not, I have not read The Princess Bride, but have seen the movie numerous times. That illustrated version sounds wonderful. I love hearing what you and your kids are reading Jenn

    I have missed a few of your posts and did not realize your daughter had contracted Covid. I am so sorry to hear that, but glad that she is recovering. I pray that all her symptoms clear up soon. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I bet that was lovely! The Princess Bride is definitely worth checking out. It’s been years since I read it, so it’s going to be interesting to see if I love it just as much.

      Thanks so much, Carla. She’s doing better, and I hope these lingering symptoms will be gone soon. I totally get missing posts. I’ve missed some of yours too, but I’ll catch up. Reading and commenting takes so much time. ❤️ Take care. Hugs

      Liked by 1 person

  3. When I’m distracted there is no way I can follow an audio book. My mind goes off in a hundred places, and I end up rewinding over and over.

    Thanks for the reminder on The Princess Bride! I bought the movie to give my son, but I really want to read the book with him first, and your post has me finally adding it to the library queue! And glad to hear your daughter is feeling better too.😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same here! I’m finding more and more that I do so much better just being in the quiet and reading the book on my own. It just depends I guess.

      I hope you guys love The Princess Bride. If I remember currently, there is some adult content in the book, but it’s been years. Just a little warning. 😉 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. They compare, but the book (as always) has more detail and more characters. It’s more complex which is to be expected I suppose. The movie has more of a fairytale feel to it. I’m pretty sure Goldman wrote the movie too. Personally, I love them both, but it’s been years since I read it. I’m hoping to still enjoy it just as much.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad your daughter is better. What a relief that must be.
    And, wow, quite a collection of books. I’m really intrigued by the collection of shorts by Neil Gaiman but concerned that several of the endings left you displeased. That doesn’t sound good.
    I also think Horses and Ponies sounds enchanting. The illustrations look gorgeous!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Mae. It is a huge relief that she’s done with the worst of it. I read two more shorts from the book today and they were both good, so it’s probably going to be hit and miss, which is common with short story collections for me. The horse book is stunning. We love it! 🧡

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Aawww… Princess Bride ❤️❤️❤️ Even the movie is a favorite in my house. And, I pick up Neil Gaimen books every time I see them on sale. Maybe I will get to read them some day! Glad to hear your daughter is on the mend!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh no, I’m so sorry about your daughter! I’m glad to hear she’s improving, but I know some of those symptoms can linger. No wonder you’re distracted! Looks like you’ve had some great options for reading together this past week. Wishing you and your family a return to good health!

    Liked by 1 person

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