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Review: After I Do

February 11, 2016

After I Do

Lauren and Ryan seemed perfect for each other from the day they met but now that they’ve been together for ten years, things seem off.  They no longer seem to be working together and they squabble about meaningless things.  In an effort to save their marriage, they decide on a one year separation – with no communication during the year.

At first Lauren wonders how she’ll get along without Ryan and finds herself thinking about him all the time.  She comes up with a way to keep up with what he’s doing, though, and learning about his actions helps her grow, learn, and figure out what she wants from a relationship.  Will this separation help Lauren and Ryan or does it mark the beginning of the end of their marriage?

Even though I hate to use the label, After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid is classic chick lit.  Lauren and Ryan are typical college sweethearts who grow complacent in their relationship.  Ryan thinks the relationship may be doomed so he suggests a separation, hoping it’ll make their hearts grow fonder for each other.  The story is told from Lauren’s point of view but Reid uses a clever plot device to let readers in on Ryan’s thoughts as well.   The young couple must use the year apart to figure out what they want in their future.

I was looking for a new audio book to listen to and saw that Sheila of Book Journey enjoyed After I Do so I decided to give it a try.  Tara Sands does a fabulous job with the narration so I enjoyed listening to the book, even though I thought it was clichéd and predictable.  If you decide to read this book, I think audio is the way to go.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

February 10, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

I found one new word in Like Family by Paolo Giordano.

1. assonance – “Nonetheless, he accepted that Mrs. A. had become Babette from a certain point on, his Babette, and I suspect that by assonance he associated that nickname with her babouches, the slippers that his nanny put on as soon as she entered our house and replaced side by side next to the chest at the end of the day.”

Assonance is literary device that takes place when two or more words close to each other repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds.  A well known example is, “The rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain.”


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Spotlight and giveaway: Hot Dudes Coloring Book

February 9, 2016

Hot Dudes coloring book

Adults have turned to coloring for relaxation and stress relief and coloring books for adults made many best sellers lists in 2015.  D. C. Taylor has come out with the most fun coloring book yet – Hot Dudes Coloring Book – and the fine folks at Penguin Random House are allowing me to give a copy away to one lucky reader.

About the book:

Handsome heartthrobs and sexy bad boys have stepped out of your fantasies and slipped into the Hot Dudes Coloring Book. Enjoy bringing the men of your dreams to life—in living color!

I think this coloring book is a lot of fun but do want to mention that while none of the drawings are explicit some of the captions are suggestive.  Can you imagine how much fun this would be to use at a coloring party?  It would also make a great gift.

To enter to win HOT DUDES COLORING BOOK, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those with a US address only – one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EDT Wednesday, February 17, 2016.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.


Mailbox Monday

February 8, 2016

Mailbox Monday February 8

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I’m back home and am looking forward to being here for the next three weeks.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:



What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Catnapped!

February 5, 2016


When a couple puppy pirates plant a fake mouse among the kitten pirates, the kitten pirates come up with a plan to get even.  It’s puppies against kittens in a pirate war!

Catnapped! is the third book in the Puppy Pirates series by Erin Soderberg.  With animals, pirates, short chapters and adorable illustrations by Russ Cox, I think this book will appeal to early readers.  There’s a lot of action and a little humor that is sure to keep them captivated but, for me, the book was just okay.  I had trouble keeping up with all the characters – I don’t think this will bother young readers because it’s really not necessary to do so in order to enjoy the book.  I also found some parts a little too silly.  I’m not crazy about the cover of this book either – I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t use one of Cox’s terrific illustrations.

Overall, Catnapped! was just okay for me.  I have a feeling young readers will feel differently.  Check it out if you have an early reader who loves animals and/or pirates.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.  I am an Indiebound Affliate.

Review: Carrying Albert Home

February 4, 2016

Carrying Albert Home

When Elsie Lavender married Homer Hickam, Sr, Buddy Ebsen sent a baby alligator to them for a wedding gift.  Elsie named the alligator Albert and loved the animal dearly.  The feeling was mutual so Albert was quite tame for her.  She soon realized, though, that West Virginia wasn’t the place to raise an alligator so she convinced her husband to take her to Florida to carry Albert home.

Most people know Homer Hickam as the author of The Rocket Boys, one of my all time favorite books.  When I heard Carrying Albert Home: The Somewhat True Story of a Man, His Wife, and Her Alligator was a prequel of sorts, I was very anxious to read it.   What I didn’t realize is the book reads like one tall tale after another, a style that doesn’t appeal to me so I ended up liking the book instead of loving it the way I thought I would.

There’s nothing wrong with this book – it’s clever, witty, well written and is filled with great characters – but I struggled to suspend disbelief.  I missed my book club’s discussion of  Carrying Albert Home but I’ve heard everyone else loved it.  If it sounds appealing to you, you should give it a try!

Review copy provided by Harper Collins and Book Club Girl Book Club.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

February 3, 2016

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where you can share new words that you’ve encountered or spotlight words you love.  Feel free to get creative!   If you want to play along, grab the button, write a post and come back and add your link to Mr. Linky!

No new words from my reading this week so I turned back to my Word-a-Day calendar.

1. eldritch – “As a writer, she is best known for her eldritch tales of ghosts and otherworldly encounters.”

Eldritch means weird or eerie.  It’s also the first name of a Minister of Magic in the Harry Potter books, which I find quite fitting.


2. ludic – “The playground resounded with the happy cries and galloping footsteps of ludic children.”

Ludic was coined by psychologists in the 1940s to describe what children do.  It’s an adjective that means of, relating to, or characterized by play: playful


3. canaille – “I am not going to write for [the New York Weekly]  — like all other papers that pay one splendidly, it circulates among stupid people & the canaille.” — Mark Twain, Letter, June 1, 1867

Canaille has two meanings – 1: rabble, riffraff  2: proletarian.  Mark Twain was referring to the first meaning.


What words do you want to celebrate today?


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