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Showing posts from March, 2012

What My Children Are Reading

This week, M's theme at school was farms, so we read lots of farm books.


Max Goes to the Farm by Adria Klein is one of a series of books that C read when he was younger. M is now working her way through them as well. This one is about Max and his friend DeShawn visiting Max's grandparents' farm, and all the things they do there.

DK Readers On The Farm by Victoria Taylor is a LEGO book about the farm. Each page has pictures of farm-related LEGOs. There are pictures of animals, with sentences that tell us what sounds they make. And there are pictures of hay bales (yellow square blocks) and people working on the farm. It's a cute book that's easy to read.

The Cow That Got Her Wish by Margaret Hillert is a cute and silly story that features farm animals. It's about a cow that wants to jump over the moon. She tries all sorts of things, but isn't able to get high enough. Then a friend gives her a creative way to make her wish come true.
Baa-Choo! by Sarah Weeks is…

Weekly Reading Recap

For the first time in a very long time, I didn't participate in this meme last week. Actually, I went eight days without writing anything on this blog! I apologize for this sudden disappearance and hope I can get back into the swing of things starting this week!

Amazingly enough, even though it's been two weeks, I have very little to share. I didn't complete a single book. I'm not sure how that happened. I guess I took a reading and blogging break! I have a lot of catching up to do!

I reviewed Chase Against Time by Steve Reifman. This was an excellent children's book for elementary age kids. You can click on the title to read my review.

I also finally posted my review of Gods and Fathers by James LePore, which was a page-turning thriller.

And I posted an interview with Charlie Barrett of The Barrett Company. There was a Kindle Fire giveaway associated with that post, but it's ended now.

Currently Reading
I'm still reading If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate Hi…

Book Review: Gods and Fathers by James LePore

Matt DeMarco's relationship with his son, Michael, has been strained since his divorce from Michael's mother many years before. But when Michael is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Matt comes to his defense. He is fairly certain his son is not a murderer, but the attorney assigned to the case doesn't seem to be digging deep enough. So Matt takes it upon himself to uncover the truth.

In Gods and Fathers by James LePore, we see a father who is willing to do just about anything to save his son. There's plenty of action and suspense throughout the story, from beginning to end. The mystery around what really happened to Micheal's girlfriend, and what role Michael, his friends, his step father and even Matt himself played, keeps the pages turning. There's a whole international espionage aspect of the story, with characters who have ties to Syria, the CIA and other governments, as well as the NYPD. I have to admit some of this was a bit too complex for me to co…

Book Review: Chase Against Time by Steve Reifman

Chase Manning, a fifth grade student at Apple Valley Elementary School, has hopes of being able to participate in the Sixth Grade Honors Orchestra next year. But the music program is in jeopardy because of budget cuts. So they're having an auction to raise funds. It seems like the perfect solution ~ until the cello they're auctioning off goes missing on the day of the auction.

In Chase Against Time, author Steve Reifman follows Chase through one full day of school as he tries to find out who stole the cello. He has to confront two bullies, and several friends and teachers as he tries to find the cello before the end of the school day. And at the same time, he needs to practice for his Honors Orchestra audition that is scheduled for that afternoon. The story moves along at a quick pace as we wait to see if Chase can succeed before time runs out.

All of the kids and teachers in this book are pretty believable. Chase is a sincere character that I think elementary aged kids can…

Win FREE Kindle Fire: The Barrett Company Hollywood Book Publicity Tour

I'm very excited to participate in the Barrett Company Hollywood Book Publicity Tour. Read on for some information about The Barrett Company, an interview with Charlie Barrett, and a chance to win a Kindle Fire!!!

~ ~ ~ About The Barrett Company ~ ~ ~
Well known, experienced, professional Hollywood book, TV and movie publicist Charlie Barrett formed The Barrett Company in 1991 as a full service publicity and media relations agency to serve books/authors/publishers, television and motion picture industry clients. The Los Angeles headquartered publicity firm offers 21st century publicity and media relations services to celebrities, authors, actors, directors, screen writers, filmmakers as well as film and television producers.

Charlie’s author clients have include LA author-screenwriter Carla Malden, author of Afterimage, Kindle’s John Locke/Lethal People, Julie Sinatra/Under my Skin, Warren Adler/War of the Roses, David R. Fett MD and Steve Langford/White Sleeper, Deby Eisenberg/Pi…

Weekly Reading Recap

It's Monday again. And somehow I've made it through the entire morning without falling asleep. I must say I'm a bit more awake than I expected to be with the time change. I didn't manage to get up at 6:30 to work out though... It might be a few days before I can handle that!

Last week, I got some reading done. I read Between a Rock and a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson, which I also reviewed so you can click on the link to see my review.

I also read Chase Against Time by Steve Reifman. My review for that children's book will be up on Thursday.

I finally posted my February Month in Review. It's about time! And I reviewed a few more of the books my kids have been reading.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow as I'll be participating in a Kindle Fire giveaway!!!

Currently Reading
I'm now reading If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home by Lucy Worsley, a nonfiction book from NetGalley.

Up Next
Next, I'll be reading another nonfiction book from NetGall…

Month in Review: February 2012

Wow is this late or what? We're almost halfway through March and I'm finally putting together my recap of February

Books Read in February: 4
I read four books in February.
The Ruins of Us by Kaija Parssinen30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans by Karl PillemerFinding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisReviews Written: 4
I wrote reviews of the four books I read in February. You can click on the links above to read the reviews.

Year-to-Date Totals: Nonfiction: 3
Contemporary Fiction: 3
Historical Fiction: 0
Mystery/Thriller: 0
Middle-Grade Fiction: 3

For review: 6
For book club: 2
For me: 1

Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge I read one book toward this challenge during February: 30 Lessons for Living. I'm keeping track of my progress on my sidebar.

Narnia Reading Project I read one book toward this challenge during February: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I'm keeping track of my progress on my s…

What My Children Are Reading

The kids have continued to be very busy reading this past week. M has especially started reading more by herself.

C read another Judy Blume book this week. This time it was Superfudge. In this book, the characters from Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing are back, and the mom is having a baby. They also move to Princeton for a year so Peter and his brother Fudge have to deal with a new baby in the family and moving to a new place and new school. C seems to have liked this one and really wants to read the rest of this series. I will say that according to Wikipedia, this is the Fudge book where the secret of Santa is revealed and although C hasn't mentioned it, I do worry it may cause an issue this coming Christmas...

We got a cute picture book from the library that I read aloud to M, and C read to himself. It's Louise, The Adventures of a Chicken by Kate DiCamillo and Harry Bliss. It's the story of a chicken who is bored with life on the farm, so she goes off on a few adventur…

Book Review: Between a Rock and a Hot Place by Tracey Jackson

There's a saying out there in the world today: Fifty is the new thirty. And Tracey Jackson couldn't disagree more. In Between a Rock and a Hot Place, Jackson explains why fifty is not the new thirty. In fact, fifty is the new fifty. It's not our grandmother's fifty and it's not our mother's fifty, but it's our new fifty.

It's hard to review a book like this without giving away some personal details. So I will admit that I hit a big milestone at the beginning of February. I turned 40. I'm a decade away from 50 but I could definitely relate to several of the chapters in this book. Menopause is something I think about a lot, and the chapter about that was both informative and funny. I also could relate to Jackson's thoughts on mammograms since I had my first last year ~ and just got the letter in the mail saying I'm due for another one this month. And I have similar memories of my grandmother in her 50s with the tight, gray curls and weekly vi…

Winner of the Leap into Books Giveaway Hop!

The winner of the Leap into Books Giveaway Hop here on My Book Retreat is #129: Stephanie! Congratulations! You get the book of your choice up to a $10 value from Book Depository!



Thanks to everyone who participated in this great giveaway hop, which was hosted by I'm a Reader, Not a Writer. I have another giveaway coming up next week ~ for a Kindle Fire! So be sure to come back and check it out!

Weekly Reading Recap

Good morning. I hope you had a good week. I'm having a hard time getting going this morning but hopefully the caffeine will kick in soon! Here's a recap of what happened here last week.

I wrote a review for Finding Nouf by Zoe Ferraris. I also reviewed The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. Click on the titles to read the reviews.

Author and teacher Steve Reifman wrote a guest post with 7 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers. And I reviewed a few of the books my kids have been reading lately.

As far as reading goes, I finally finished Gods and Fathers by James LePore, which I plan to review this week. I also need to write up my monthly recap for February.

I'm participating in the Leap into Books Giveaway. It ends tonight so be sure to enter before midnight! I'm giving away $10 in books from The Book Depository.

Currently Reading
I'm now reading Between a Rock and a Hot Place: Why Fifty is Not the New Thirty by Tracey Jackson, which I'll be reviewing…

What My Children Are Reading

The kids have been reading a lot this week, which is so great to see! But before I get into some of the books they read, I want to mention my review of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and a guest post I hosted this week with 7 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers. And, of course, the kids read a lot of Dr. Seuss books this week, especially in school. You can read my old post about the Dr. Seuss books we love.

Besides Dr. Seuss, C read Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. This was his first book by that author and I'm guessing he'll be reading more of them. I can't remember the book, so as C tells it, the story is about a boy and his 2 year old brother. The 2 year old brother is always messing everything up. He thought the book was funny except for when Fudge falls from the monkey bars and is covered in blood. But otherwise, he seems to have enjoyed it and was excited when I told him there are more Fudge books to read.


M received three new Biscuit books for he…

7 Ways to Encourage Reluctant Readers by Steve Reifman

Today, I'm featuring a guest post by children's book author and teacher Steve Reifman. I will be reviewing his upcoming book, Chase Against Time, later this month. But now, he shares his tips on encouraging reluctant readers.

Reading is a tremendously appealing, satisfying activity, and children will become hooked once the adults in their lives consistently build it into their daily schedules. The key is getting children started. The following seven strategies will help even the most reluctant reader become more enthusiastic about the endeavor. By employing the strategies described below, reading will become something that students do willingly, even eagerly, and the adults in their lives will not have to resort to trickery, bribery, manipulation, or any other tactic that will, at best, lead to temporary compliance. After all, we’re striving to make reading a joyous lifelong habit.

1)    Start with the child’s passions.  Children will be more excited about reading when they ca…