QUICK NOTE...Update: 1/2/19
The blog is slowly coming back on line. We were right in the path of Hurricane Michael (like so many others), and while the family is safe (pups, and parents), the house didn't fair as well. So, reading and blogging (as much as I adore it) have to take a back burner. I've finally reached a stage in all this chaos that I feel that I can try to take a few baby steps back into the blogging world. A post here, a post there, and who knows. Hope you stay along for the ride!
Thursday, December 31, 2009
Originally, I bought this book to read to my one little dog, Ashley, (I know, "reading to a dog" sounds crazy, but it was for me just as much as her...) when she was still expecting. That time has come and gone (pups are doing GREAT!), but the story still begged to be read. My favorite sentiment in the book is actually summed up in the last two pages. It lists all the wonderful things that dogs are, from sniffers to chewers and everything in between, ending in the echo of the title. Recommended for younger readers, or those just wanting a quick reminder of the joy of puppy-hood.
Until next time....okay, maybe next year....happy reading!
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Favorite author of old, with some fresh new material....what better way to get re-acquainted, right? When I came across the opportunity to read and review this title, I jumped at the chance. (No really, I jumped....like to the keyboard as fast as fast can be....) I mean I love reading new authors and even some of the yet-to-be-published stuff is really good, but a long time favorite re-introduced is like coming home....although in this particular series, it's a somewhat troubled one. Couple that with the fact that I'm getting to host a contest in conjuction with this title thanks to the folks at Hachette Book Group....and yes, I am one happy reader! Without further ado....today's book of choice is....
Say what you will about author James Patterson's many co-authored works...I know a lot of readers are very opinionated on the matter. Some feel it's a cop out just so they can finish a book. Others just seem to feel that it affects the overall project to the point that they do not recognize the story-telling style anymore. Me? In the case of this book series, it would seem the more the merrier is just fine. I have admittedly not read a James Patterson novel for quite some time (longer than I realized when I truly looked at it...). I had been following the Alex Cross series quite closely for a while, and even read one of the more chick-lit style books he's done, but for one reason or another, my interest simply dropped away from those books. I mean they were good, but after a while I was needing a taste of something else.
When I came upon this book, I realized I had read the first two (maybe three) books in the series, so I was a little worried about being lost in the details, but figured I'd give it a go and see what happened. Lucky me, the Women's Murder Club series of books are written just as I remembered....in a take it as it comes fashion. (I know, not the most professional description, but hear me out...) This is the kind of series that you can just walk right into. It doesn't matter if you read the first novel or the first six, you are still able to build a connection with the characters and follow the story with a clear head (and yes, you need one to figure out who's who and doing what to whom in this story). That said, I thoroughly enjoyed the book (as if you couldn't tell that by now?). I love how it's fast paced, but not too fast. Detailed, but not overly. It's a good balance of real world action with behind the scenes drama. The super short chapters are classic Patterson style....making it all the harder to put down when you have to sleep (you know, the just-one-more-chapter syndrome?). The ending...well, let's just say there's a twist you won't really see coming. I'd highly recommend this one to all of his current fans and to those looking to step into the fiction/crime fiction genre.....to check out more about this book....
The good folks at Hachette Book Group were kind enough to send me a copy of this title for review and are now spreading the book love a little further by giving you a chance to win one of FIVE copies of this great novel! (That's right! There will be FIVE winners!) In light of the holiday season, the length and means of entry for this particular contest are going to be a bit unorthodox. Here we go.....
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
"As I followed her down the hall toward the front door, I stopped for a moment and looked down at my feet. And as sure as my name is Cecelia Rose Honeycutt, I felt the life of that old house humming through the soles of my shoes. -- pg 258, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (ARC)
The sweet spring breeze blew against their noses. The smaller puppy twiched her whiskers and sneezed. -- pg 10, We Are Puppies by Molly Grooms and Andrey Troshkov
Although I didn't get any actual books from the big man in red among my wonderful spoils, I did get something that will solve my eBook reading troubles.....TADA....a pink pocket eReader! (SQUEEEE!) Now, it WILL NOT, I repeat WILL NOT replace my actual books. Nope. No siree. The newest best sellers or top wishes on my list will always remain in a hard copy....just ones I come across that happen to be in that form exclusively, or old favorites that I wish to reread, etc....those will end up in the eReader. But enough about my holiday...what did all of YOU get? Anything awesome you wish to share? Do tell.....(psst....feel free to leave your favorite gifts received this season in the comments!)....now back on the subject of my blog neglect...
NO worries....I'm starting to get everything back online and ready to go. This week in fact....be on the look out for a review of one title from an ever popular author's series WITH a giveaway to five lucky fellow insatiable readers....stay tuned....(will you look at that, my first actual post after the holidays and I'm already rambling, tsk, tsk...) Moving on....today's post is a rather fun read if I do say so myself. Full of imagination, wonderful art, and even a random smattering of facts....yes, I do believe we have a winner! Today's book of choice is....
Buying, Training, & Caring for Your Dinosaur
Laura Joy Rennert
The title alone begs one to at the very least sneak a peek at this little book and once you are inside, you won't want to put it down until you've reached the end. Author Laura Joy Rennert delivers a fanciful guide to well....pretty much what the title says. Having a dinosaur as a pet is a rather large responsibility and so readers are cautioned to choose the right one for them. From the Triceratops all the way to the Tyrannosaurus rex, you will get a quick run down on their most discerning features as well as practical advice on their fun time habits. Looking for a pal to run and play with? Consider a Gallimimus. How about one that's easy to train (could definitely be helpful with a pet THIS size)? Try the Troodon.
Wait! Choosing one is only half the battle! After you've chosen the "little" guy or gal that's right for you, the second half of the book kicks right into gear and shows you just what you're in for during the coming days, months, and years....Whatever your pet desires, you're sure to find one just perfect for you. The best advice overall? Well, as the author so aptly puts it...."HUG your dino (okay...part of your dino) everyday!"
I must say, when I first read the title to this book, I was totally drawn in. As a child, I wasn't exactly into dinosaurs, but at the same time, I did have a few favorites. My personal one was the Stegosaurus. I remember I had a little figurine of one....think I called it Steggy. (original, right?) Anywho....I'm pretty sure most children at one age or another go through a dinosaur phase (of course I mean liking them, not acting like one.....)....whether short lived, or life long. This cute picture book totally brought back the love from those days and speaking of the pictures...how imaginative! The colors and style, yes...total flashback to the many times that I would color a full page duck, multiple colors instead of the typical yellow and orange (hey, I liked a lot of colors in the crayon box....why couldn't my creation be more punky in color?). The technique used in regards to the artistry brings to mind the effect you get from sponge painting (oh, come on....if you don't do it now....you probably did it at least once as a child...). It gives the needed effect for a mottled look to the dinosaurs, all while making them the most fun colors you can think of. Marc Brown (that's who came up with these fantasical critters, or at least what they might have looked like) truly did an outstanding job, certain to grab and keep any passerby's attention.
Special thanks to author Laura Joy Rennert for my (SIGNED!) copy for review and reading! Be sure to check out the links in both the title and author near the top of this post for more information about the book as well as a fun introduction to the author and her Chihuahuasaurus. (LOL...it's really cute.)
Happy holidays....and happy reading!
Monday, December 28, 2009
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Today's choice was a quick read indeed as I finished it in under 10 minutes but went back to spend a little more time admiring the illustrations. Let's cut through the fruitcake here and get on with the show....the book of choice for today is....
WHEW! Okay, that's the end of the review in rhyme....moving on with the regular program here. The book is a funny and new take on the classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas". Written in the traditional rhyme scheme, it flows incredibly fast. I would definitely recommend making yourself slow down to truly enjoy the story. To say it was cute, would not do it justice....it was fun and imaginative and definitely something I will reread with each passing Christmas. The jams Murray gets in while trying to fill the big man's suit are quite funny....even more amusing is how he tries to get out of them. (Promise...you'll laugh!)
On a side note...some of you may have expected the funny story as the author, Mike Reiss is a writer for and executive producer of The Simpsons (call me clueless, as I didn't know the name...but I do like the show!). The illustrations must be given their mention as well....the book is fully illustrated. Every page has wonder renditions of the story characters and their antics. As I said, you'll want to be sure and look at each page. The add-ins are so much fun! (There's a cute happy pup in the one pic....other holiday figures dining in another....)
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
in today’s case, it was more of a knew. Ever have one of those moments that you vaguely remember someone, place the memory, see a flicker of almost recognition in them….only to let the moment pass, awkwardly. Yeah, happened to me tonight…I recognized this one guy back from 6th through 8th grade (no comments on the memory, just have a thing for faces)….looks like they are doing okay for themselves, so KUDOS to them…and if you happen to be reading this…HI!
Speaking of friends, family, and Christmas….(okay, so I kind of alluded to them, but now it’s time to put them together)…..I recently read a book perfect for this holiday occasion. Enough with the intro, on with the show….today’s book of choice is….
Christmas at Stony Creek
This is the tail, oops I mean tale, of a young mouse finding her way in the great big world in order to save her family from a lean winter. (Betcha didn’t see that one coming, huh?) I’ll admit it, the cover drew me in entirely, I mean it looked like such a cute story! Well, it was a cute story, but BOY was there a lot of hardship, dead, and struggle! I mean, it totally hit me out of left field. In no way was I prepared for the devastation, loneliness, and ultimately the feeling that everything was not going to be alright! It is a kids book for goodness sake! How much death should really be in it after all?
Our main character is Pipsqueak, or Pip for short. She is one of the eldest daughter of her mousey family and as such, feels a great deal of responsibility in assisting with the daily tasks to keep their small family running. Alas, it is winter time and although food and shelter are plentiful in spring time, this season does not prove quite as kind. With their rations running low, Papa mouse decides to go to a place he has discovered to obtain more rations to see them through the winter. Papa leaves and….does not come back home in the allotted number of days. As Pip’s brother is out of commission from their last food excursion, it is up to young Pip to save their family from starvation….but at what cost? The only place left that may have some food is forbidden. Will she overcome her own anxieties to save them all?
One tiny spoiler, if I may….the ending is on the happy side so those of you skeptical about reading it due to the hard times I’ve revealed can rest a bit easier (it is a Christmas story after all….we simply must have a merry ending…). Although the cover led me to believe I would be reading an entirely different story (read as much happier and cute, not so much dark times), I must say that I still enjoyed the book. The mouse family, her woodland friends, and even the struggles against their potential enemies all add depth to what can often be two dimensional characters…not to mention the ingenious way Pip manages to….well, it’s really amazing (sorry, can’t reveal it….it takes away from the surprise for you!). Rest assured you will come out on the other side a little brighter, a little wiser, and filled with that much more Christmas spirit.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Buying, Training & Caring for Your Dinosaur by Laura Joy Rennert (SIGNED)
(via author's site...check it out!)
(via contest from Julie at Booking Mama)
I Use to Know That: Stuff You Forgot From School by Caroline Taggart
(via Twitter contest from FSBAssociaties)
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Today's post in keeping with the spirit of the holiday season is from one of the many holiday books I had on my list to read this month. Grant it, not all have been read at this point with so many other ones in the proverbial fire, but I have made a small dent at the very least and I am ready to share! The book on the menu today caught my eye in both title and cover....while not earth shattering, it's simple beauty is what stuck me so. Without further ado....today's book of choice is....
The Birds' Christmas Carol
Kate Douglas Wiggin
(READERS BEWARE: This is a children's book, written in classical style and although the story is straight from the heart, the ending is indeed a sad one. Might want to caution younger readers, or provide a hanky.)
We join the Birds family (not actual birds....that's their last name....just in case there was any confusion) on a very important day indeed. It is the wee hours of Christmas Day and although the world is ready to delve into their presents, Mr. and Mrs. Bird are at home celebrating the arrival of their newest little one. A baby girl, born to them on this most special day whilst Christmas carols fill the air with their wondrous sounds from the Church across the way. Any guesses as to what they name the child? (Oh, come on....you can guess it, I know it!) That's right! Carol. Or to be precise, their little Christmas Carol as they fondly thought of her and her mannerisms even at such a a young age spoke of a kind and gentle soul.
Fast forward ten years and we greet Carol as a young girl about to celebrate her 10th birthday. A wondrous celebration it is to be with decorations fit for a palace, food fit for a king, and presents enough to spoil any youngster whose thoughts were of themself and not those in need around them. Aha, but you see, fair readers, this is where Carol sets herself apart from the common pack. Being a true Christmas child, she adores the season with a vigor few may ever show, but her youth is unable to hide the terrible disease that is upon her. She is ill with a sickness that is not cureable and thus each Christmas celebration brings her closer to an unfortunate end. Does she give up hope? Heavens no! Does she sit and wallow away in self pity? That would be a negative once again. Although weak in body, she is strong in mind and soul as every year she helps to organize the family festivities. This year is to be extra special. She is planning a dinner party for the Ruggles children that live just next door. They are a poor but proud family....never seeking assistance from those better off than they, but Carol has her heart set on giving them the best Christmas ever. Who could deny such an effort in love? (Sorry, dearest readers, but to reveal more would ruin the story!)
How did I come upon this book? I was browsing through our local book store and behold...a thin visage of Christmas wonder did appear! (Yes, I know the writing style has been fading in and out of this post....do you ever find that happening when you write a review after reading a book written in classic style?) I thought to myself...self, this looks like a nice, quick read to add to the holiday books for December's posts and it even fits the season. My "self" was pleased and so I made my purchase. Woe is me! I did NOT anticipate the fate that little Christmas Carol meets nor the journey she sets upon to get there! You will need a hanky, tissue, T-shirt....something when you finish this book, MARK MY WORDS!
That said, I will say that I do not regret reading this book though even if it wasn't quite as jolly as I thought it might be. It really reminds you about the underlying spirit of the season. Sharing the good things we have in life with others and seeing the joy that it brings to them in turn....now that's a Christmas memory to collect every year.
Tis the season to be merry....thinking back to Christmas' past (or present if you prefer), do you have a tradition in your family that benefits others? Volunteer at a soup kitchen? Organize a donation drive? Donate to a good cause? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below!
My family usually selects an "angel" from the local angel tree, or a senior from the newest addition to the program, to buy presents for. This year with money being tight, we've had to scale back a bit, but you can bet that the bell ringers seeking donations for those in need will be getting as much as can be shared.
Happy holidays....and happy reading!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I dashed into the street and placed Miz Hobbs's brassiere on the rear bumper of his cruiser. Written across the trunk above the splayed-out brassiere was the single word I wanted to be in the picture: P-O-L-I-C-E. I snapped the picture and high-tailed it home, laughing the whole way. -- pg 206, Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman (ARC)
"Can any of you cut up a person's body?" Yuki asked. "Can you imagine what's involved in dismembering a human being? I have a hard time cutting up a chicken. ..." -- pg 252, 7th Heaven by James Patterson