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At the movies: Tammy

September 11, 2014


Tammy has the bad day to end all bad days – she hits a deer on her way to work, loses her job because she’s late, and goes home to discover her husband’s having an affair with a neighbor.  She packs things up and moves to her parents’ house but decides she needs to get out of town.  Her grandmother agrees to let her take her car, but there’s a catch – she’s going with her.  The two end up taking the road trip of their lives.

I thought the trailer of Tammy was funny and I’m a fan of Melissa McCarthy and Susan Sarandon so I had high hopes for this movie.  I’m sorry to say it was just okay for me.  I thought the funniest clips from the movie were included in the trailer.  Other than those moments, it relied on tired clichês that grew old after a while.  There is a good message in the movie but I was weary of it by the time it was delivered.  There is a lot of language so this isn’t a movie for the whole family.  I recommend renting this one.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

September 10, 2014

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!

This week’s words came from Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King.

1. jocose – “‘Holly, stop that!’ her mother says sternly, as if her daughter has uttered some jocose and inappropriate profanity instead of almost fainting.”

Jocose is an adjective that means given to joking: merry.


2. minatory – “Over dessert (which Hodges skips, Uncle Henry’s unapologetic gluttony serving as a minatory power of example), Janey invites the new arrivals to stay at the house in Sugar Heights starting tomorrow, and the three of them toddle off to their prepaid rooms.”

Minatory is an adjective as well; it means having a menacing quality: threatening.


3. squib – “What follows is a two-paragraph squib, really just an excuse to get last year’s tragedy (If you want to use that word, Brady thinks — rather snidely) back on the front page of a newspaper that’s slowly being strangled to death by the Internet.”

Squib has several meanings – in this case it means a short news item; especially filler.


 What words do you want to celebrate today?

Giveaway: To See the Moon Again

September 9, 2014

To See the Moon Again

Have you heard about Jamie Langston Turner‘s new book, To See the Moon Again?

Every day of her life Julia Rich lives with the memory of a horrible accident she caused long ago. In the years since, she has tried to hide her guilt in the quiet routine of teaching at a small South Carolina college, avoiding close relationships with family and would-be friends. But one day a phone call from Carmen, a niece she has never met, disrupts her carefully controlled world.

Carmen is a study in contrasts—comical yet wise, sunny yet contemplative, soft yet assertive. As she sets about gently drawing Julia from her self-imposed solitude into a place of hope, she also seeks her own peace for past mistakes.

Together, the two women embark on a journey that takes Julia far from the familiar comfort of home and gives Carmen the courage to open her heart. Together, their sightseeing trip turns into a discovery of truth, grace, redemption, and, finally, love…

Doesn’t that sound good?  I’m excited because the great folks at Penguin are allowing me to give away a copy of this book to one lucky reader! To enter to win a copy of TO SEE YOU AGAIN by Jamie Langston Turner, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those with a US mailing address only– one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EST Thursday, September 18, 2014.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Mailbox Monday

September 8, 2014

Mailbox Monday September 8

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Last week was busy and, then, our upstairs air conditioner went out and I was held captive all day Thursday while they replaced it.  I’m sure glad that week is behind us!  I found these books in my mailbox:






What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Raccoon Rampage

September 6, 2014

Raccoon Rampage

The Hole-In-The-Tree Gang only has to pull off a couple of robberies so they’ll be set for the winter.  When they get caught they decide they better hightail it to the city.  They discover city life isn’t for them and have to figure out a way to get back home.  They arrive just in time to thwart a real robber and become heroes.

Raccoon Rampage by Andrew Cope is a cute book for early readers.  The raccoons need to survive the winter and take the easy way out to get supplies.  When they get caught, they decide to leave town only to discover the city isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  They work together to find their way home and discover where they really belong.

When I started Raccoon Rampage I had some trouble telling the characters apart so it took me a little while to get into the flow of the story.  Once I did, I enjoyed it.  The storyline is fun and the illustrations are cute.  It’s part of the Awesome Animals series and is sure to delight young readers.

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 tomorrow.

Review copy provided by Barron’s.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

This Is Where I Leave You: Book Club and Giveaway

September 5, 2014

TIWILY Book Club

My book club was lucky enough to get copies of This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper.  It’s the story of a dysfunctional family sitting shiva for their newly departed patriarch.  Told from the point of view of Judd, one of the sons whose marriage has just dissolved, I found the book to be smart, funny, and touching so I couldn’t wait to discuss it with my friends.   Everyone loved the book and we found a lot to talk about.

TIWILY collage

We had discussion questions but didn’t really need them.  We discussed family dynamics and parenting and the way the tough times in our lives shape us.  We all thought the characters in the book were terrific and we spent a lot of time discussing them – I think everyone had a different favorite.  We also talked about the casting for the film – everyone agreed they did a terrific job and we’re all anxious to see the film now.

This Is Where I Leave You – In Theaters September 19


The dramatic comedy “This is Where I Leave You” is directed by Shawn Levy, and based on the hilarious and poignant best-selling novel by Jonathan Tropper. It features a starring ensemble cast including Golden Globe winner Jason Bateman (“Arrested Development”); Golden Globe and Emmy Award winner Tina Fey (“30 Rock”); and two-time Oscar® winner, multiple Golden Globe honoree and 2013 Emmy Award nominee Jane Fonda (“Klute,” “Coming Home,” HBO’s “The Newsroom”).

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide—driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Genre: Dramatic Comedy
Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, Corey Stoll, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, Timothy Olyphant, Dax Shepard and Jane Fonda
Directed By: Shawn Levy
Screenplay By: Screenplay by Jonathan Tropper, Based on the novel “This Is Where I Leave You” by Jonathan Tropper
Produced By: Paula Weinstein, Shawn Levy, Jeffrey Levine; Executive Producers Mary McLaglen, Jonathan Tropper

Official Links
Visit the official website
Like This is Where I Leave You on Facebook
Follow @wbpictures on Twitter and Instagram

Thanks to Warner Brothers, I have a copy of the book and a $25 VISA gift card to use to see the movie for one lucky reader.

To enter to win a copy of THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU by Jonathan Tropper plus a $25 VISA gift card, simply fill out the entry form.  Contest is open to those with a US mailing address only– one entry per person, please.  I will use to determine the winner.  Contest ends at midnight EST Thursday, September 18, 2014.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.


Post sponsored by Warner Brothers.

Review: Tell the Wolves I’m Home

September 4, 2014

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

When June’s Uncle Finn passes away she is devastated.  Finn was her godfather and made the quiet and reserved June feel special like no one else could.  She and her older sister Greta used to be close but lately have drifted apart and, with Finn gone, June feels all alone.  Finn is a well known artist and he paints a portrait of the two girls before he dies.

June’s parents don’t say much about Finn’s death since he died of AIDS and little was known about it in 1987.  When June receives Finn’s special teapot and a note from his partner, Toby, in the mail, June makes arrangements to meet him.  She discovers much of Finn’s life was hidden from her and learns she’s not the only one who misses him.

A member of my book club raved about Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, saying it was the best book she’s ever read, so we read it for our July meeting.  Everyone liked the book but no one loved it quite the way the way she did – maybe our expectations were too high.

Told from the point of view of fourteen year old June, the book is a coming of age story that explores the early fears associated with AIDS.  June is a sweet girl but she’s kind of lost in her family.  Both of her parents are accountants and, since it’s tax season, they’re not around much.  Greta’s busy with school and a play and has struggles of her own.  Finn was the one person June could turn to and, now that he’s gone, she feels totally lost.  I found June easy to relate to even as I cringed at some of her decisions.

The writing in this book is lovely but the plot did drag for me a time or two.  Tell the Wolves I’m Home is full of symbolism, though, so it was a wonderful book club selection – we found a lot to talk about and didn’t need questions to get the discussion started.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

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