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Showing posts from October, 2012

Weekly Reading Recap

I'm a day late but finally posting about last week. I really hope all of you on the East coast are safe, warm and dry. We have had lots of wind and some rain, but we're inland and south enough that we didn't get the brunt of the storm.

I had a slower week with reading. I didn't manage to finish anything. I've been reading The Mongol Objective by David Sakmyster. I'm enjoying it but we've been so busy lately, I haven't had much time to read.

I also haven't had much time to review anything. I did write one review: Leaves by Michael Baron. That's it.

My son read Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers by Dav Pilkey. He got it from the Scholastic Book Fair at his school last week. He's also just about done with Syren, the fifth book in the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage.

Currently Reading
I'm still Election! by Dan Gutman and I'm still hoping to review it before the election passes! I'm also still re…

Book Review: Leaves by Michael Baron

The Sugar Maple Inn has been a fixture in the small town of Oldham, Connecticut for 32 years, but the era is coming to an end. After the death of their parents, the Gold children have decided to sell the inn and move on with their lives. But first, Corinna, Deborah, Maria, Maxwell and Tyler are hosting the last annual Halloween party. And as the party preparations commence, each of them faces not only their memories of the inn but also the anticipation of a future without it.

Leaves by Michael Baron is an exploration of family, their interactions and the impact of change on them. For Deborah, who has been chef at the inn for her entire career, the future is uncertain. Where will she work? What will she do with her life? Corinna is stressed about the party, while dealing with a workaholic husband and a stepson who is pushing the limits. Maria is working through the empty nest syndrome and rediscovering her love of music. Then there's Maxwell who is considering a political run, but …

Weekly Reading Recap

Good morning. I hope you've had a good week and weekend. I had a relaxing weekend as my husband and son were off camping Saturday night. My daughter and I went shopping on Saturday with my mom and got lots of new clothes. I thought about stopping at the bookstore but tried to remind myself that I have stacks of books to read at home! And I've recently accepted several new review requests... Eek!

I got a lot of reading done this week. I finished Leaves by Michael Baron, and I also read The Secret Life of Cee Cee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain, my October book club selection.

As far as reviews go, I reviewed a children's book called Dinorific Poetry Volume 2 by Michael Sgrignoli. And I also reviewed a memoir, Truth Be Told by Larry King. I have a giveaway up for that one so click on the title to enter!

My son is finished the fourth book in the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage and Mark Zug: Queste. He has a big project to do with it now ~ he has to write about a character in…

Book Review: Truth Be Told by Larry King

I'm not really interested in celebrities; I don't read the celebrity magazines or watch any of the talk shows that celebrities frequent. I have no idea who most of the movie stars are today. And I never watched Larry King Live. But Truth Be Told by Larry King was actually quite interesting. It's a memoir by the talk show host in which he shares memories and stories of his life on radio and television. The subtitle sums up the purpose of the book: Off the Record about Favorite Guests, Memorable Moments, Funniest Jokes, and a Half Century of Asking Questions. It honestly made me want to go back and watch old episodes to see King's interviews!

The memoir is split up into chapters that focus on certain topics, such as Time, Riches, Music, Politics and The Finale. King shares his memories and anecdotes from his life as a broadcaster, first in Miami on radio, and later on CNN. As with most memoirs, some chapters were more interesting than others. There's very little per…

Book Review: Dinorific Poetry Volume 2 by Michael Sgrignoli

This week, I'd like to highlight a great book of poetry that will appeal to most young kids. Two years ago, I reviewed Dinorific Poetry, a collection of dinosaur-related poems written by Michael Sgrignoli and illustrated by his son, Ethan. My kids loved it, so when the author asked me to review Dinorific Poetry Volume 2, I couldn't resist!

The poems in Volume 2 are much more detailed and longer than in the original book. They provide a lot more information about the different dinosaurs as well. This time, we learn about tiny dinosaurs and why the brontosaurus should be called by another name, among other things. Here's an excerpt from the poem "Carnotaurus":
CARNOTAURUS had a pair of horns above his eyes.
Maybe they were ornaments or just a cool disguise.
Maybe he would joust with friends or wave them while he ate --
forcing other dinosaurs to sit around and wait. I love that the poems are a combination of true facts and silly fantasy. There's one poem about…

Weekly Reading Recap - On Wednesday

I was looking at my Facebook page yesterday, wondering why my weekly recap post wasn't showing up on it, but the review I published yesterday was. Then I went to my blog and realized it was because I never actually wrote my weekly recap this week! Whoops! I was out of town all weekend for a wedding, and I guess I just wasn't quite back to reality on Monday. So without further ado, here's my weekly recap...

Because I went on a trip by myself that included about 8 hours of flying, I got a lot of reading done. I didn't do as much reading at the hotel as I had planned, but I still got through one full book: Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth. I also wrote the review for that one so you can click the title to read it.

I've also made it most of the way through Leaves by Michael Baron.

My son is reading the fourth book in the Septimus Heap series by Angie Sage and Mark Zug: Queste. He's about halfway done with it. He also requested a book on the lost colony, which he's …

Book Review: Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth

Ten years ago, two teenagers drowned in a pond in England. To memorialize them, the town is erecting a summerhouse beside the pond. But when the mayor pushes the spade into the earth to mark the start of the construction, he pulls up more than just dirt. A body has been buried by the side of the pond, and Lola knows who it is.

Cold Light by Jenn Ashworth is a psychological thriller that really gets at the struggles of teenage friendship and its effects that can be felt for many years. I don't generally read young adult novels, but the relationship aspects of these 14 year old girls would probably appeal to YA fans. It is pretty dark though. None of the characters is really likeable ~ there's bullying and shoplifting, parental depression and death, and a sexual predator is on the loose. There really aren't any positive, happy moments in this novel.

But something kept me engaged. Bits and pieces of the circumstances that led to the drowning and the buried body are revealed s…

Weekly Reading Recap

Hi! I had another busy week on the blog, mostly due to the fact that I had a backlog of reviews to publish. I need another Bloggiesta event to get more reviews written now!

Here are the reviews I published last week:
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The 13th Target by Mark de Castrique

I also wrote about the Junie B. Jones series by Barbara Park for Banned Books Week. I'm giving away the first book in that series so be sure to enter if you're interested!

As far as reading goes, I finished Truth Be Told by Larry King. It's an interesting collection of his stories and memories.

And for those of you participating in my Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge, be sure to check out the Third Quarter Recap post and enter to win a Malcolm Gladwell book!

My husband finished Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. Like me, he felt that the series went downhill as it progressed. He was annoyed by Katniss and thought it just got to be too much in the end. I'm hoping I can convince him to pick up a…

Banned Books Week: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park

This is the end of Banned Books Week and unfortunately, I haven't had a lot of time to write about banned books this year. But I did want to include at least one post about it, so today I wanted to share one of the book series that it seems most people are surprised to find on the list: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park.

According to Wikipedia:
The Junie B. Jones series came in at #71 on the American Library Association's list of the Top 100 Banned or Challenged Books from 2000-2009. Reasons cited are poor social values taught by the books and Junie B. Jones not being considered a good role model due to her mouthiness and bad spelling/grammar. This is an interesting example of a banned book. Many times there are serious, controversial topics featured in books that are challenged. Things like homosexuality, drugs, vulgar language, etc. You can actually understand why people may not want their children to read those books, and why they may challenge their inclusion in school libra…

Book Review: The 13th Target by Mark de Castrique

Russell Mullins is a former Secret Service officer who is working for a private protection firm in Washington, D.C. He has been assigned to guard Paul Luguire, a Federal Reserve executive and its chief liaison with the U.S. Treasury, and the two have become quite friendly. So when Mullins hears that Luguire has committed suicide, he can't believe that's what really happened ~ and he's determined to uncover the truth. 

The 13th Target by Mark de Castrique is a fast-paced mystery that really picks up steam when Mullins teams up with a former colleague Amanda Church. She tells him of a suspicious transaction that she and Luguire had discussed shortly before his death. As they begin to investigate it, they discover that someone is setting Mullins up, making it look like he's behind a plot that could destroy the U.S. financial system. To clear his name, they have to stop a massive attack. They know the first 12 targets, but what is the 13th?

The story in The 13th Target rev…

Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge: 3rd Quarter Recap

If you're participating in my Non-Fiction Non-Memoir Reading Challenge for 2012, I'd love to hear how it's going! Sorry I didn't get a second quarter recap linky up, but here's one for third quarter. Please share your progress so far either in a comment below, or you can link up to a post on your blog. You can give whatever details you'd like to share, but here are a few prompts if you'd like to use them:

How many books have you read for the challenge? 

What topics have you learned about? 

Which books would you recommend and why?

Did any of the books or the information you read in them surprise you in any way?

Why did you choose the books you read?

Everyone who is linked up to the original sign-up linky and provides a recap in a comment on this post or links to a recap blog post in the linky below, will be eligible to win a paperback copy of one of Malcolm Gladwell's books: Outliers, The Tipping Point or What the Dog Saw. The book will ship from The Book De…

Book Review: Bossypants by Tina Fey

Tina Fey is a very funny actress and an incredible comedy writer. So when my book club chose her memoir, Bossypants, as the October book, I was excited to learn more about her and her background. Fey delivers with stories about her childhood, her time doing improv, her work on television and even a bit about her family life. But as many of us mentioned during our discussion about the book, she only touches on these things at the surface. She never really digs down deep into any of the topics she brings up.

Despite the lack of depth, I did enjoy Bossypants ~ some chapters more than others. She talks of her childhood and teen years, including some interesting experiences with a theater camp. She also tells how she got into comedy, and a bit about her experiences on Saturday Night Live and Thirty Rock. I loved hearing the background on her role as Sarah Palin on SNL, and she revealed a bit about the sexism female comedians experience. She even gives us a glimpse into her personal life, …

Weekly Reading Recap

Good morning. It's been a little crazy around here this weekend because I was participating in Bloggiesta, which was a lot of fun. You can read a recap of what I accomplished here.

One of the great things about Bloggiesta is that I managed to write three reviews over the weekend! I published a review for The Hero's Guide to Saving your Kingdom by Christopher Healy. The other two are scheduled for later this week.

In addition to Bloggiesta, it is now officially Banned Books Week. I have a giveaway going on right now so be sure to enter here. I am planning a post about a very popular children's book series that has been challenged over the years: Junie B. Jones by Barbara Park. That will be up on Saturday. Until then, I'm not sure how much I'll be talking about banned books. I do have a post in mind related to a recent experience with my son and the school library. So hopefully I'll have time to write that up.

As you probably figured since I wrote the review, I…