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Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 19, 2015

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!

My first word is from Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon.

1. myelin – “Our date night must have provided some fresh myelin for the frayed nerves of daily life.”

Myelin is an insulating layer that forms around nerves.

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I found my second word in Why’d They Wear That? by Sarah Albee.

2. sumptuary laws – “When that happened, rulers tried, often in vain, to enforce sumptuary laws.”

Sumptuary laws were a set of laws that prevented extravagance in private life by limiting expenditure for clothing, food and furniture.

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My last word is from Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal.

3. tetsubin – “Robbe’s life and home were truly impressive, but she wasn’t going to embarrass herself gushing over every little magnetic knife rack or hobnailed sand iron tetsubin.”

A tetsubin is Japanese cast iron pot with a pouring spout, a lid, and a handle, used for boiling and pouring hot water for drinking purposes.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?

August 18, 2015

Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat

Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat? is a series of essays by the mother-daughter team of Lisa Scottline and Francesca Serritella.  The two tackle subjects ranging from financial planning to online dating to caring for animals, plus everything in between, in a lighthearted, humorous manner.  They tackle a few tough subjects as well, like the death of their mother/grandmother and the end of a long term relationship.  In other words, most women will relate to several essays in this (mostly) fun book.

When I first picked up Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?, I thought reading so many essays might get old and expected to read the book in spurts, but I was wrong.  I was hooked on Scottoline and Serritella’s playful banter right from the start and loved their optimistic look on life, so I read the book straight through.  The essays do need to be read in order but it would be easy to dip in and out of the book.  I related to some essays more than others, but I still enjoyed all of them.  I smiled, laughed, and teared up as I read this wonderful collection and look forward to reading more by Scottoline and Serritella.

Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

August 17, 2015

Mailbox Monday August 17

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Since Vance was out of town last week, I spent most of my time at the store.  Even so, I managed to read a few books and, since not much appeared in my mailbox, my book pile didn’t grow.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Wednesday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

August 14, 2015

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Greg Gaines is one of those high school students who gets along with everyone but really doesn’t have any close friends.  When Rachel, a girl he knows from Hebrew school, is diagnosed with cancer, his mom suggests he hang out with her some.  Greg goes to visit Rachel but things are kind of awkward between them so he decides he and Earl should make a film about Rachel.  Things don’t turn out the way Greg planned.

After seeing the movie trailer for Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, I decided I needed to listen to the book by Jesse Andrews.  The book is the manuscript of a book Greg is writing – it’s part narrative and part screenplay – so much of it is the thoughts of a teenage boy.   And, we all know what teenage boys think about.  I’m sure it’s my age but the book was too crude and full of foul language for me.  I’m sure those same things will make it appeal to the target audience of older teens – they’ll probably find it truthful and edgy.  I wanted more from it, though – a satisfying ending or something – but that never happened so, in the end, this book wasn’t for me.

The audio version of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl is on 5 CDs and lasts approximately 6 hours and is narrated by Thomas Mann and Ry Cyler as well as Keith Szarabajka, Hillary Huber, Kirby Heyborne, Abigail Revasch, and Adenrele Ojo.  Mann and Cyler both star in the film version and did a fine job with the narration; I’m not sure the addition of the other narrators added anything to the production since their roles were very limited.

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.

 

Author event and giveaway: Susan Crandall

August 13, 2015

Susan Crandall

A couple of years ago all of my friends were reading and talking about Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall.  Even though I haven’t read it yet, I remember everyone’s reactions so was very excited to see Susan was coming to Fiction Addiction.

Susan and her sister wrote four books together, none of which were published.  She learned a lot, though, and the experience gave Susan the itch so she continued to write.  The first book she wrote by herself was her first book that was published.  Her tenth book was Whistling Past the Graveyard and it was the SIBA Book of the Year winner for 2014.  Her latest book, The Flying Circus, was published on July 7.

The Flying Circus is set in 1923 and is the story of three people who come together to form a barnstorming act.  Susan’s father was a private pilot and felt about flying the way she feels about books.  The character of Henry has a lot of her dad’s characteristics.

Susan says she’s not a fast reader or writer.  She loves the fabric of the South and small communities and loves to travel to both.   Susan is married and loves spending time with her husband, two children, and four grandchildren.

I got Susan to autograph a copy of The Flying Circus for one lucky reader.  To enter to win an autographed copy of THE FLYING CIRCUS, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open worldwide – one entry per person, please.  I will use random.org to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EDT Thursday, August 20, 2015.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 12, 2015

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!

It’s been a while since I’ve had to do this, but I had to turn to my Word-a-Day calendar this week.

1. suborn – “In the first place, a jury could not easily be suborned by any one.” — Theodore Dreiser, The Financier

Suborn is a verb that means to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing.

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2. sward – “Students in flip-flops slap lazily across the green swards of campuses as bell music peals from the campaniles.” — Sally Jenkins, The Washington Post, August 31, 2005

A sward is a portion of ground covered with grass.

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3. brummagem – “The jewelry box in Penelope’s grandmother’s closet was filled with brummagem costume jewelry.”

Brummagem is an adjective that means not genuine: spurious; also: cheaply showy: tawdry.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Hurricane Sisters

August 11, 2015

The Hurricane Sisters

The Hurricane Sisters by Dorothea Benton Frank is the story of three generations of women in South Carolina’s lowcountry.

Maisie, the matriarch of the family, is strong willed and determined.  Her family doesn’t want her to drive anymore so they’ve hired Skipper to be her driver.  The two hit it off and end up living together much to Maisie’s daughter, Liz’s chagrin.

Things aren’t so easy for Liz right now.  She works hard for a cause she believes in but her husband isn’t all that supportive.  He’s caught up with his own problems and isn’t around that much.  Liz thinks her daughter Ashley should forget art and get a real job but Maisie keeps encouraging her.

Ashley has big dreams – she wants to become an artist and a politician’s wife.  She meets a state senator and thinks her dreams might be coming true but things aren’t exactly the way they appear.  In the end, she finds out just how much her family’s support means to her.

Frank tells the story of these three women with her signature wit and southern charm so I thoroughly enjoyed The Hurricane Sisters.  I could relate to all three women but freely admit that I related to middle-aged Liz the most.  This book is so much more than family drama, though – Frank touches on the subject of domestic abuse in an eye opening manner that’s not at all preachy.

My book club discussed this book in July and, boy, did we have a great discussion!  We talked about the book for a while and then several members shared some very personal, gut-wrenching stories.  I know these women very well but had never heard these stories which made me realize the stigma victims of abuse carry with them for years.  I think we had our best discussion ever and reading and discussing The Hurricane Sisters brought us closer together.  I’m sure you can figure out that I recommend this book to everyone, especially book clubs.

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