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Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 15, 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 this week was in The Pink Suit by Nicole Mary Kelby.

1. toile – “The Ladies couldn’t whip up a toile themselves, for obvious reasons.”

I thought toile was a type of fabric and that could fit here but it didn’t seem quite right, so I looked it up.  I discovered that toile is a type of fabric and it’s also a mock-up model of a garment.  The second definition fits this sentence.


I found my second word when I looked at the Giraffe Cam set up at the Dallas Zoo.

2. reticulated giraffe – “The Giraffe Conservation Foundation estimates that Katie is one of about 4,700 reticulated giraffes left in the world.”

I wasn’t sure what reticulated meant so decided to look it up.  I was surprised to discover “reticulated giraffe” in my dictionary.  A reticulated giraffe is a giraffe of a subspecies found in northeast Africa, Somalia, and northern Kenya that has a deep chestnut-colored coat divided by a network of fine white lines into large geometric patches.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Painter

April 14, 2015

The Painter

Artist Jim Stegner spends some time in jail after shooting (but not killing) a man.  He decides to relocate upon his release and ends up in Colorado where he paints, fishes, and grieves the daughter he adored.  His life is quiet and peaceful until he confronts a man for beating a horse.

I’m sure The Painter by Peter Heller is a great story –  the prose was certainly lovely – but I struggled with it.  I listened to the audio version which is narrated by Mark Deakins and found my mind wandering as I listened to it.  Deakins has a nice voice but I had trouble focusing on it so it may not have been expressive enough for me.  I have a feeling I would have enjoyed Heller’s wonderful writing more in print.  Many of my friends have loved this book so, if it interests you, give it a try!

Listen to an excerpt:

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

Mailbox Monday

April 13, 2015

Mailbox Monday April 13

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   Another week has flown by.  To be honest, I’m rather glad it’s over because I felt unsettled all week.  Spring is definitely here and, for us, that means lots of pollen and rain – in fact they’re calling for rain all week here.  Hopefully that means we’ll see lots of May flowers.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:




What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Won Ton and Chopstick

April 11, 2015

Won Ton and Chopstick

Won Ton is perfectly content with the life she leads with her boy.  She has a great routine:

It’s a fine life, Boy.
Nap, play, bathe, nap, eat, repeat.
Practice makes purrfect.

When the family brings in a new puppy she’s not too happy with this pest who wants to eat her food, lie on her blankie, and play with her boy.  Won Ton feels neglected and put out until she and the puppy are left alone together on a rainy day.  When thunder cracks, she discovers they have one thing in common – they’re both afraid and in the end

Your secret revealed.
What kind of name is Basho?
I shall call you . . . Friend?

Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw is an adorable picture book about an unlikely friendship between a cat and a dog.  Young animal lovers will get a kick out of Won Ton’s antics and learn a few things about friendship while they’re at it.  Eugene Yelchin‘s illustrations are gorgeous and expressive and greatly enhance the story.

Since it’s written completely in haiku, young readers might need a little help with some of the concepts in Won Ton and Chopstick.  Luckily, there’s a great teacher’s guide that can be used at home and in the classroom to make this wonderful book even more fun.

Lee Wardlaw photoLee Wardlaw swears that her first spoken word was “kitty.” Since then, she’s shared her life with 30 cats (not all at the same time!) and published 30 books for young readers, including Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku, recipient of the Lee Bennett Hopkins Children’s Poetry Award, the Myra Cohn Livingston Award for Poetry, and the Cat Writers’ Association Muse Medallion. She lives in Santa Barbara, California with her family.

I will link kid konnection newthis 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 Blue Slip Media.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


Review: The Grown Ups

April 10, 2015

The Grown Ups

Suzie, Sam, and Bella grew up in the same neighborhood, until Suzie’s family moved away when she fifteen.  Their families were friends so their lives were intertwined from an early age.  They knew each other’s secrets, families, and friends.  Even as they drifted apart geographically and emotionally, they were held together by the bond of their childhood and would always feel connected.  Because of that connection, they would always remain in each other’s lives as they learned to navigate the world.

The Grown Ups by Robin Antalek is a character driven novel about childhood friendships narrated by three very different characters – Bella, Sam, and Suzie.  They share a common hometown and spent much of their childhood together but they have very different struggles.  As they work out who they want to be, they find their paths crossing once again.

I thought this book was full of heart, emotion, and deep friendship.  There’s something special about childhood friendships that continue into adulthood and Antalek portrays it perfectly.  Sure there are issues and some drama but there’s also lots of love.  Even though I generally prefer plot driven stories, there’s something about Antalek’s writing that drew me in and I thoroughly enjoyed my time spent with these characters.

My book club read The Grown Ups and everyone liked the book, some more than others.  We talked about the complexities of friendship and family and how they shape us.  We also discussed a few plot points a couple people would have liked to have seen developed more.  Our copies of the book contained great discussion questions and a fun playlist.

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

At the movies: Still Alice

April 9, 2015

Still Alice

I’m sure most people know that Still Alice is the story of a woman, Alice Howland, and her family after she’s diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.  Alice was an accomplished and intelligent woman – she was a professor of linguistics in her 50s when she began to suspect something was wrong.  Her diagnosis impacts her, her husband, and her three grown children.

When I went to see Still Alice I expected to cry and I did.  I also expected a stellar performance from Julianne Moore – she did win an Academy Award for her role as Alice, after all – and I got that too.  In fact, I thought the whole cast was terrific.   But, I have to say, I expected a little more from the movie.  I haven’t read the book, so I can’t make a comparison but the movie was only about Alice’s decline.  There were a couple of subplots that were never completely developed so I think they could have done a lot more with the movie.  Having said that, the movie made me sad and left me feeling unsettled so I think it probably accurately portrayed what it’s like to live with that dreadful disease.

Still Alice is definitely worth seeing but I think it’s probably best viewed in the privacy of your home with a box of tissues close by.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 8, 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 came from We Can Work it Out by Elizabeth Eulberg.

1. macking – “’I’m trying to understand what I saw, because it looked like you were macking hard on Bruce.’”

According to, macking means to flirt or make sexual advances toward someone.


My second word came from The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson.

2. anon – “’I’ll be with you anon, my Juliet,’ he said and flicked his cigarette in a high arc.”

The first thing that popped into my head was anonymous but knew that didn’t fit.  I discovered anon can also mean at once: immediately.


What words do you want to celebrate today?


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