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Showing posts from April, 2010

Friday Book Blogger Hop

It's time for another Book Blogger Hop! Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books hosts the weekly Book Blogger Hop on Fridays. So, if you talk about books on your blog, stop over and add your link! If you're just looking for a list of some great book blogs to read, head over to Crazy for Books and start hopping!

I skipped last week as I just didn't have the time to go visit the other blogs. But this week, I think I'm up to doing some visiting and commenting! It just might be later tonight since I have way too much work to get done by the end of the day. Too bad I can't just spend my days blogging about books!

I've found several book blogs through the Hop, but unfortunately my memory is terrible and I can't remember which ones! I guess I should have been writing them down every week! I did find one new one so far this week: The New Dork Review of Books. And I believe I found these through the Hop over the past couple weeks:

LibrarysCat Book List
The Plum Bean Project
Tere…

Book Review: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

When the narrator of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier becomes the new wife of Maxim de Winter, she is happy and in love. But she is also young, insecure and worried her new husband is still in love with his previous wife, Rebecca, who died in a boating accident a year ago. Back at her husband's home, Manderley, the new Mrs. de Winter realizes that traces and memories of Rebecca are all around them. The housekeeper who adored Rebecca resents this new woman who is taking her place. Everyone she meets talks about how wonderful Rebecca was and how different Manderley was when she was alive. And the mystery around Rebecca's life and death weighs heavily on the new Mrs. de Winter.

Rebecca is my book club's May selection. I doubt I would have picked it up if it hadn't been. I was hesitant to read it because don't tend to read gothic romance novels. But so many people have told me they loved it, and several reviews I've read mentioned a surprise ending. So I expected to be…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks for stopping by this week! I hope you had a good week and got a lot of reading done!

I didn't finish any new books this week, unfortunately. I have been reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, but haven't spent a lot of time reading this week, so I haven't made it very far. I'm about a quarter of the way through, and I can't decide if I like it yet. I guess we'll all know what I think by next week ~ at least we better!!

I did publish a review of The Power of Your Child's Imagination by Charlotte Reznick. And I wrote a review for a great children's book called Dirt: Jump into Science by Steve Tomacek. And finally, I published my weekly What My Children Are Reading recap, which was focused on a couple early reader series my kindergartner has been enjoying.

Up next:
I'm hoping to put in a lot of reading time this week and finish Rebecca soon. That is my goal. Then I'll be starting on a book on my Spring Reading Thing Challenge list. I'm …

What My Children Are Reading This Week

We didn't make it back to the library this week, but we still had several books to read. Last week I talked about several picture books. This week I'll cover some of the early readers C has been reading.

We got another I Can Read Book by Syd Hoff. This one is called Chester and it's about a wild horse that wants to be taken when the men come with ropes because he wants someone to love him. But they take all the other horses and leave Chester behind. So he wanders around town looking for something he can do ~ pulling a fire truck, being a merry-go-round horse ~ until he finds a place where he belongs. This is an I Can Read Level 1 book. I was pleased to see C read this one without missing more than a couple words. These Syd Hoff books are great for kids who are learning to read. They're engaging stories that hold their interest. C read all 64 pages in one sitting, even though I gave him the chance to stop reading halfway through.


One of the big hits with C right now is …

Book Review: Dirt: Jump Into Science by Steve Tomecek

Today is Earth Day, so I wanted to take some time to review a children's book that I stumbled upon last week at the library that is perfect for this day. It's called Dirt: Jump Into Science by Steve Tomecek. This book is filled with detailed information about, well, dirt. It gets into how dirt is formed, different types of soil, the layers of soil in the ground and the animals that live in the dirt.

I especially liked how Tomecek explained the importance of soil to plants, animals and humans. He talks about the uses of different types of soil, how some are good for growing plants while others are better for serving as foundations for buildings. Yet all of this information is presented in straight-forward way that young elementary age kids can understand ~ my 5 year old really enjoyed this book and we both learned a lot about dirt.

Nancy Woodman's illustrations are a wonderful complement to Tomecek's story, with a little mole taking kids on a tour of the Earth's ri…

Book Tour and Review: The Power of Your Child's Imagination by Charlotte Reznick, PhD

Description from the publisher
The Power of Your Child’s Imagination is a heart-felt guide that shows parents and professionals how to empower children with easy, effective, and creative skills for surviving – and thriving – in our stressful world. It’s an indispensable guide that provides nine simple tools to help kids access their natural strengths and resources. There’s a mini-primer for each Tool—a sample script, troubleshooting tips, and real-life examples of how it is used. The Tools are adaptable to all ages (even adults can use them), and their benefits accumulate over time.

My thoughts
This book is an excellent resource for parents. It's full of detailed information that's presented in an easy-to-read and easy-to-understand format. After an introduction about how to use this book, the first part presents each of the nine core tools. Reznick explains each tool, shares a sample script, and discusses how kids use the tool, different variations and troubleshooting tips. I l…

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, you're supposed to share two teaser sentences from a random page in the book you're currently reading.
Here's my teaser for this week:
I think he realized my distress, for he leant forward in his chair and spoke to me, his voice gentle, asking if I would have more coffee, and when I refused and shook my head I felt that his eyes were still upon me, puzzled, reflective. He was pondering my exact relationship to her, and wondering whether he must bracket us together in futility.

~ page 16 of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks for stopping by! I had a great week, and I sure hope you did too. Last week was National Library Week, so I took my 3 year old to the library for story time. We had fun and ended up with a bag full of books as usual. One of those books was Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss, which was perfect for this special week. You can click the title for my review.

I also published a review of Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze last week, which some of you may have seen since it was put up shortly after publishing my It's Monday post last week.

And I read and reviewed Guest House by Barbara K. Richardson, which I really loved. It's a wonderful story with some very interesting characters that Richardson really brings to life with her writing.

And finally, I published my weekly What My Children Are Reading recap.

I'm making my way through the last few chapters The Power of Your Child's Imagination, which I'm reading for a blog tour. I'm scheduled to post my review on Wedn…

Book Review: Guest House

When successful real estate agent, Melba Burns witnesses a horrible accident, she quits her job and refuses to drive her car again, hoping to save someone else from the death that cars can cause. She retreats to her home and its garden, starts using the bus system to get around, and pushes her wheelbarrow back and forth to the grocery store. As she beings to adjust to this simpler life, she meets JoLee Garry, a woman who's always looking for a good time. Melba takes her in as her roommate, and soon Melba's life takes off in an entirely new direction.

In Guest House, Barbara K. Richardson weaves a story about what brings people together and what tears them apart, what makes a family and what is truly important in life. I absolutely loved this novel, mostly because of the main characters and the way Richardson brings them to life in her writing. There's Melba, 54 years old, successful, seemingly content with her life, who gives up everything to honor a man she never even k…

What My Children Are Reading This Week

This week, we picked up several beautiful picture books from the library. The first is one I picked up after story time at the library on Thursday. It's called Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss, and it was a great selection for National Library Week. You can click on the title to see my full review of that one.

Last week, Nicole at Tired, Need Sleep mentioned Jim Arnosky, so I wrote down his name and looked in his section at the library. When I saw Babies in the Bayou, I knew I had to choose that one. M is crazy about the movie The Princess and the Frog, in which the characters spend a lot of time in the bayou. And she loves babies, so it was perfect. The story is about the baby alligators, raccoons, turtles and ducks in the bayou. It's quite real in that he speaks of the mother duck keeping her babies safe from the alligators, and he shows the raccoons eating turtle eggs. But it's still a beautifully illustrated story of mommies and babies in the bayou. M seems to like i…

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books hosts the weekly Book Blogger Hop on Fridays. So, if you talk about books on your blog, stop over and add your link! If you're just looking for a list of some great book blogs to read, head over to Crazy for Books and start hopping!

If you're new to My Book Retreat, leave a comment and tell me about your blog so I can stop over and check it out. And while you're at it, let me know what genres you like best. I read a lot of historical fiction, memoirs and mysteries myself, and lots of picture books and early readers with my kids!

National Library Week and a Review of Book! Book! Book!

This is National Library Week, so I made time to take M to story time today at our local library. Our library system is fantastic when it comes to toddler and preschool story time events. There are several each week, and they're split up into different age groups so there's something for everyone. Today's story time was for ages 3-5, and it included songs, books and a puppet show.


The puppet show was based on a book called Book! Book! Book! by Deborah Bruss, and we were lucky to find a copy to take home with us after story time ended. This is a great story about a group of farm animals who are bored one day, so they take a walk into town. There they find a library, and each animal goes inside to ask the librarian for something fun to do. But the librarian can't understand what they're saying, until the hen goes in and says, "Book! Book! Book!" It's a cute story with fun illustrations and a silly ending. We all really enjoyed this story, and it fit in …

Book Formats: What's Your Preference?

I don't usually start discussions on this blog, but I recently realized that I have very strong preferences when it comes to the format of the books I read. And I'm wondering if others do as well. Most books eventually come in a range of formats:
HardcoverPaperbackMass market paperbackAudioE-bookAm I missing any? So what's your favorite? Do you have a preference? Are there certain formats you always choose? Any formats you avoid completely? And what's the reasoning behind your preference?

For me, I'd say my preference is definitely paperback, but absolutely not mass market paperback. I've read a couple mass market paperbacks recently after not reading them for years, and I just don't enjoy them. They're uncomfortable to read, in my opinion. I have to actually use my muscles to keep the pages open! And the font is usually way too small.

If I can't get a regular paperback copy, I'll go for hardcover. They aren't nearly as portable as paperback,…

Book Review: Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze

Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze is a cross between a Christian fiction novel and a suspense novel. The two main characters are a woman with very strong Christian faith, and a man, Ben, who lost his faith after the murder of his wife and son three years earlier. The two are brought together after the woman is attacked and ends up in the crisis center that Ben owns.

She goes to the crisis center because when she wakes after her attack, she has amnesia and can't remember who she is. But she finds their business card along with a cross necklace in her pocket. She sees this as a sign that God wants her to go to this crisis center. The problem is that she looks just like Ben's dead wife, Susan. And to make matters worse, the cross she's wearing belonged to Susan and has been missing since she was murdered.

Ben eventually agrees to help this Susan look-alike stay safe from those who are trying to kill her, and find out who she is. He hopes she will also lead him to the truth about t…

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks for stopping by on this beautiful Monday morning! I had a very relaxing weekend at the beach, with lots of time to sit and read in the evenings after the kids were in bed...well, not so much the first night when my 3 year old decided to stay up until 11:30pm but the second night was good!

Last week, I finished reading The Piano Teacher: A Novel by Janice Y. K. Lee, which is my book club's April selection. You can click on the title to see my full review.

I also read Forget Me Not by Vicki Hinze for a WaterBrook Multnomah tour that's happening this week. My review will be up later today. You can click on the title to see my full review.

And finally, I published my weekly What My Children Are Reading recap.

I hosted a giveaway to celebrate getting more than 50 followers. That was an exciting milestone. And a week later, I'm already over 60! I highly recommend participation in the Book Blogger Hop that Jennifer at Crazy-for-Books is hosting if you're interested i…

What My Children Are Reading This Week

We're out of town but I wanted to be sure to post a few of the books we've been reading this week. I hope you're having a great weekend!

I picked up a couple new books by Syd Hoff for C. He's read Danny and the Dinosaur and Sammy the Seal already. This week we picked up The Lighthouse Children and The Horse in Harry's Room. He hasn't read The Horse in Harry's Room yet, but he did read The Lighthouse Children, and he did great with it. This is the story of a couple who lives at a lighthouse. They don't have any children, but the sea gulls visit often and they've named them and treat them like children. When they move after a storm, they miss their sea gull children, but they find a way to see them again. It's a sweet story and a great level for C to read now. He needed help on most pages the first time, but after a second reading, he's now able to read it independently.

The other book I'll mention is a picture book called Crazy Hair Day by…