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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 16, 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 are from Season to Taste by Natalie Young.

1. jotter – “It wasn’t at all warm; there was an icy wind coming in from somewhere, but Lizzie felt good to be out in the world, and she took her jotter out of her basket and looked through her list.”

I suspected a jotter was a pen and was surprised to discover it’s a small notebook for rough notes.

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2. hob – “We’ll assume you’re starting from scratch, and the room has nothing in it but oven with hob, fridge, freezer, cupboards, work surfaces, sink.”

Hob has several meaning but the one used here is the chiefly British one that means a cooktop.

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3. catkin – “Alder trees with skinny catkins.”

I was scratching my head after I read the definition of catkin – a spicate inflorescence (as of the willow, birch, or oak) bearing scaly bracts and unisexual usually apetalous flowers – so I searched for an image.

catkins

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Delicious!

July 15, 2014

Delicious!

Billie Breslin’s perfect palate (she can identify every taste in a dish) lands her a job with Delicious!, the most prestigious food magazine out there.  She moves across the country to New York for the job and, just as she’s getting settled in the food scene there, the magazine folds.  Billie is kept on, though, to take care of the correspondence and archives.

Billie finds letters from a young girl to James Beard in the archives and they fascinate her.  She feels like she knows young Lulu and begins to wonder what happened to her.  Her search for Lulu helps her learn more about herself.

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl has gotten some terrific buzz so I really wanted to love it.  I think it may have suffered because my expectations were way too high because, while I liked it a great deal, I didn’t love it.

I thought Billie was a great character.  She feels guilt because of something that happened in her past.  She seems to have found the perfect job and then the magazine goes under.  Being in the office by herself is pretty lonely until she finds those letters and gets lost in Lulu’s world.

I liked the storyline as well but I thought it had some loose threads that really weren’t necessary.  I also thought there were a few issues with the pacing.  Neither of those things were enough to ruin the book for me, they just kept me from loving it the way I wanted to.

Julia Whelan does a terrific job narrating the audio version of Delicious!  The audio book is on 11 CDs and lasts approximately 13 hours.

weekend cookingI will be linking this up to Weekend Cooking which is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend.

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

Mailbox Monday

July 14, 2014

The Butcher

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.  It was a slow week book wise but not in any other way, so I’m not complaining.  Here’s what showed up in my mailbox last week:

Friday

Did you find any goodies in your mailbox last week?

Review – The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet

July 11, 2014

The Yeti Files

The Yeti family goes to great extremes to stay hidden away.

We have all taken a powerful oath to never be seen by the outside world.  The secrecy keeps magic and mystery in the minds of humans.  And we all know how important that is.

George Vanquist has different ideas, though.  He’s says yetis do exist and he’ll do anything to prove it.  When the Yeti family plans a reunion, they think they have all the bases covered but Vanquist manages to snap some photos.  The Yetis have got to figure out a way to stop him before he does too much damage.

The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet by Kevin Sherry is a fun book for early independent readers.  The story line is cute enough to keep them interested and there are appealing illustrations on every page.  It’s just silly enough to tickle their funny bones too.

The ending of the book leads me to believe The Yeti Files: Meet the Bigfeet is the first in a new series that’s sure to be a hit with early 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 Scholastic. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: The Hollow Ground

July 10, 2014

The Hollow Ground

When fire burns in underground coal mines in the early 1960s, young Brigid Howley and her family are forced to move.  They have nowhere else to go so they move in with their grandparents.  Life has been hard on them – Daddy was injured in the mines and can’t work and both Gram and Ma are bitter and mean.

Brigid can feel the tension even though she doesn’t always understand it.  Still she longs for a solid foundation and strives to keep her family together.  As family secrets begin to unravel, it all seems like too much for an eleven year old to absorb.

The Hollow Ground but Natalie S. Harnett is a deeply atmospheric, beautifully written book.  I’m not sure if it was a matter of timing but I didn’t love this book the way I had hoped to.  There is much to like in it, though, and I did like it a great deal.

Rich in historical detail and inspired by real events, Harnett takes readers to central Pennsylvania with her gorgeous writing.  Times were tough and people were in danger and the tension is palpable.  Almost every member of the Howley family has a secret and Brigid unearths something that may bring them all to light.

The story is told mostly from Brigid’s point of view so she’s the most fully developed character.  My heart ached for her as she struggled to navigate the troubled waters of her family.

The Hollow Ground is getting a lot of well deserved praise.  I think it’s well worth reading, even if I didn’t love it as much as everyone else has.

Review copy provided by Get Red PR.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 9, 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!

I only found two words last week, but they’re good ones.  My first word is from The Accidental Book Club by Jennifer Scott. (This is actually a quote from a book the book club read.)

1. vellicate – “She’d been hooking since she was thirteen, stuffing her grand, vellicating thighs into clothes three times too small, counting on her meth addiction to keep her thin, to keep her pretty, too blind to realize how not thin and not pretty she already was.”

Vellicate means to twitch, pluck, or pinch.  In this case, I’m sure the author meant twitch.

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My second word came from Season to Taste by Natalie Young.

2. clobber – “Everything from the drawer full of paper clips and batteries, old receipts and other clobber went in the bin.”

I knew clobber can mean to hit something but that didn’t fit this sentence so I did a little research.  According to Urban Dictionary, clobber also means clothes and personal belongings which makes perfect sense in the context of the book.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Love Life

July 8, 2014

Love Life

Rob Lowe is back with Love Life, another memoir of sorts.  This time, it’s not a straight-forward telling of events from his life but rather snapshots or vignettes that show readers just what his life is like and why he loves it.  Sure, parts of his life are glamorous by most standards, but much of it is ordinary.

A few of the stories are from Lowe’s early days in show business but the stories that truly stood out to me are the ones about Lowe’s family.  He writes from the heart when he writes about them and I was moved to tears as I read about the love he has for his wife and the loss he felt as his older son left home for college.   It’s those stories that most people will be able to relate to and they made the book for me.

Once again, Lowe does an outstanding job narrating the audio version of his book.  Listening to it was like sitting back, hearing an old friend talk about his life.  His narration definitely enhanced the book so I recommend experiencing Love Life on audio.

Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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