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Showing posts from June, 2015

Book Review: The Cave by Michela Montgomery

Kate is excited about a four-day hike through the Wind Cave in South Dakota. She's finally going to tell her mentor, Percy, how she feels about him. But Kate, Percy and the four others on their expedition have a lot more to think about than romance when a nuclear war breaks out above ground. Their four-day hike turns into a 30-day survival story.

The Cave (The Wind Cave Book 1) by Michela Montgomery is a mix of suspense and romance. At first, the hikers don't realize what has happened on the surface. They think the blast they felt was an explosion or an earthquake. But they soon realize that the most likely scenario is a nuclear bomb. Montgomery lets the reader in on what is actually happening outside the cave through brief visits with a terrorist who is involved in the attack. I thought this was an interesting way to give the reader a bit more information than the main characters, without getting into too much detail about the attack.

The storyline kept me going. There's …

Week in Review

It's been a couple weeks since my last Week in Review. Perhaps I need to change the name of these regular posts now that I don't seem to get them done every week! Since I last posted a review, I've been on a fabulous trip to Dominican Republic with my family. We had a great time relaxing at the pool and on the beach. And we all loved seeing the countryside on the excursion we took mid-week. I got a lot of reading done on the long flights too!

Reviews and Blog Posts
Preventing the Summer Slide: Keep Kids Learning All Summer Long
Book Review: Genius de Milo by Russ Colchamiro
Book Club Picks: World War II

Reading
Since my last update, I finished reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Genius de Milo by Russ Colchamiro and The Cave (The Wind Cave Book 1) by Michela Montgomery.

I'm now reading Love and Miss Communication: A Novel by Elyssa Friedland.

C read two books on vacation: Belly Up (FunJungle) by Stuart Gibbs and Ungifted by Gordon Korman. He seemed to enjoy bot…

Book Club Picks: World War II

Welcome to my weekly series: Book Club Picks. This week, I'm sharing some fiction and nonfiction books that all revolve around World War II. These books cover several different aspects of the war, from the Germans storming through Europe, to the Japanese in the Pacific, to the effect of the war on Japanese-Americans in the United States. Book clubs can explore the many ways this war impacted people around the entire world.


Note about the links below: My reviews do not include spoilers, but the discussion questions do. The book covers are Amazon Affiliate links. If you use those links to make a purchase, I will receive a very small commission but your price will remain the same.

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Published November 2010; 473 pages
This nonfiction account of Louis Zamperini's experience during World War II is truly amazing. Book clubs can explore the details of the war in the Pacific and the role of the Japanese in the war. They can discuss Zamperini's resilien…

Book Review: Genius de Milo by Russ Colchamiro

The Minder of the Universe has a problem. Earth is fluxing in and out of existence, and it seems the universe's ultimate gremlin, Milo, is responsible. Meanwhile on Earth, Jason Medley and Theo Barnes are finally meeting up again a few years after a crazy adventure in New Zealand involving a jar of Cosmic Building Material nearly destroyed the universe.

Genius de Milo by Russ Colchamiro is a wild, trippy, bizarre novel that left my brain in a bit of a flux at times! It's the second book in a series, and while it does stand alone, I would have enjoyed it more had I read the first book, Finders Keepers. Once I got used to the style and the characters, I definitely enjoyed the ride. Although different than my typical reading choices, this was a fun change and a good summer read.

Another reviewer equated Genius de Milo with the film Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, and I think that's a great comparison. Most of the characters spend a lot of time either drunk or high o…

Preventing the Summer Slide

As summer vacation begins for most schools in the United States, kids are excited about the long days of playing with friends, going to camps and taking family vacations. Summer vacation is time for having fun and relaxing after a long school year. But as parents, we need to remember to keep our kids' brains active to prevent the so-called "summer slide," that loss of lessons learned, the slip backwards in reading and other academic areas that occurs for many children during the long summer break. How can you do this? Read on for some ideas.

Here are 10 Tips to Prevent the Summer Slide:
Read every day. Most teachers require kids to read for 10 to 30 minutes every day during the school year. Don't let your kids get out of this reading habit during the summer. Encourage them to continue to read every day. And for those who have required summer reading lists, make sure they find time to read books they WANT to read as well, so reading doesn't become…

Week in Review

Good morning. It's been a few weeks since I wrote a week in review. I thought I'd finally catch up with this weekly meme. Life has been busy with my kids finishing up school and starting summer break. There were tons of end of the year things going on. In addition, my job has been very busy lately so I've had little time to write and blog.

Reviews and Blog Posts
I have been keeping up with my weekly Book Club Picks series. Here are links to the last few posts:
Book Club Picks: 20th Century Historical Fiction
Book Club Picks: How Book Clubs Pick Books
Book Club Picks: Summer Reads
Book Club Picks: Memoirs

I also managed to post several reviews:
The Orbital Perspective by Astronaut Ron Garan
Five Night Stand by Richard J. Alley
The Treasure at Devil's Hole by Jody M. Mabry
The Organ Takers by Richard Van Anderson
At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

Reading
Since the last time I wrote a recap, I finished reading At the Water's Edge. I also read Five Night Stand, referenc…

Book Club Picks: Memoirs

Welcome to my weekly series: Book Club Picks. This week I have a guest post from Sue at Book by Book. Sue is here to share some recommendations on memoirs that she has enjoyed discussing with her book clubs over the years. Surprisingly enough, I haven't read a single book on her list, so I'm very excited to share all of these new-to-me book recommendations!


Over the past decade, I have been a part of five different book groups (four of them still active) and have loved discussing a wide variety of books with diverse groups of friends and family. One of my favorite genres is memoir, and these books are great for discussion:

Too Close to the Falls by Catherine Glidner
The author grew up in the 1950’s in Niagara Falls, NY, and was “prescribed” by her pediatrician to help her father in his pharmacy business at just 3 years old – a fascinating, warm, and hilarious memoir of childhood that my neighborhood book group loved.
Read Sue's review

Hope’s Boy by Andrew Bridge
Our library g…

Book Review: At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

After making utter fools of themselves during a New Year's Eve party that ushered in the year 1942, Maddie and her husband Ellis are cut off by her in-laws. Her father-in-law, a former army Colonel, is already disappointed in Ellis because he got out of fighting in the war due to being color blind, and her mother-in-law despises Maddie. Left with nothing, Ellis convinces Maddie and their friend Hank to help him on an adventure to prove himself to his father.

At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen takes us on this adventure to Scotland in search of the Loch Ness Monster. The three travel across the ocean through the middle of the war and land in Scotland, weary and out of their element. Staying in a small inn in a small town, the men expect to be pampered as they always have, but Maddie begins to make connections with the people who work in the inn.

I enjoyed this unusual story, particularly because of the characters. Each is a complex individual with positive and negative traits, a…

Book Club Picks: Summer Reads

Welcome to my weekly series: Book Club Picks. This was my kids' last week of school for the year, so I have summer on my mind. Most book clubs like to discuss "meaty" books that prompt serious discussions about a variety of topics. But it's hard to sit on a beach, relaxing in the sun, and immerse yourself in a serious story that may require careful reading or may invoke feelings of depression rather than joy. If your book club is looking for a lighter summer read that still prompts interesting discussion, I've got a list for you!


Note about the links below: My reviews do not include spoilers, but the discussion questions do. The book covers are Amazon Affiliate links. If you use those links to make a purchase, I will receive a very small commission but your price will remain the same.

The Lake House by Marci Nault
Published May, 2013; 400 pages
This novel takes place in a lakeside community, and features scenes of friends and family enjoying the beach during the…