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Wondrous Words Wednesday

September 3, 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 had to go back to my Word-a-Day calendar this week.

1. subvention – “The earliest documented subvention for the science museum was a grant from the federal government in 1853.”

Subvention is the provision of assistance or financial support (as from a government or foundation).


2. ukase – “The professor’s first instruction to the class was a ukase: Never begin a play with a telephone ringing.” — Bruce McCabe, Boston Globe, June 23, 2000

Ukase is an order or command.


3. pukka – “Ellingsworth stood framed in the door of his club, the picture of a pukka gentleman – immaculately groomed, upper lip appropriately stiff, perfectly genteel.”

Pukka means genuine or authentic; also: first-class.



What words do you want to celebrate today?

At the movies: Jersey Boys

September 2, 2014

Jersey Boys poster

I’m sure most people know that Jersey Boys is the story of the rise and fall of The Four Seasons.  The members of the band came from a rough part of town in Newark, New Jersey and, despite huge success, were never able to get beyond their past.

I saw Jersey Boys on Broadway a few years ago so I was really excited when the movie version came out.  I’m sure most people won’t be surprised to hear that, for me, the movie didn’t hold the same magic as the play.  I know some of that was because it’s easier to get lost in a live production but another part is that there wasn’t enough music in the movie   I’m not sure if it’s because I already knew the story but I thought the movie dragged in places.

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed the movie and think it’s well worth seeing.  The acting and singing were top notch – in fact many of the people in the movie have performed in the play.  Many people in the theater applauded at the movie’s ending.  This movie is rated R for language.


Mailbox Monday

September 1, 2014

Mailbox Monday September 1

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.    I’m back from a great visit with my mom and now I’m trying to catch up around the house and on the blog.  Here are the books that showed up in my mailbox:






What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Boy 21

August 30, 2014

Boy 21

Finley lives in a rough neighborhood with his father and grandfather.  His saving graces are basketball and his girlfriend Erin.  Erin’s the one with real basketball skills and the two of them have plans for those skills to get them out of Bellmont.  Still, Finley wants to have a great senior season so he and Erin work hard over the summer.

When Boy 21 moves to town, Coach asks Finley to take him under his wing.  Boy 21 has been traumatized and Coach wants Finley to help him out.  The problem is, Boy 21 is a basketball powerhouse who could end up with Finley’s position if he encourages him to play.

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick is hard to describe – it’s a coming of age story that takes on a lot of issues.  Issues like mental health, race relations, love, violence, and loyalty.   It might sound like there’s a lot going on in this book, and there is, but it works so well.  I loved this book!

Told from the point of view of Finley, a self proclaimed “minimal speaker,” the story is tight and fast paced.  I adored Finley from the start and was curious about his story.  When his past is finally revealed, my heart broke for him.  Erin is a great character as well – she’s strong and kind and doesn’t need a boyfriend to have an identity.

I don’t want to say too much more for fear of spoiling things.  Don’t be put off by the basketball background – this isn’t a book about sports.  It’s about a character who happens to play a sport and it made me laugh and cry.

The audio version of Boy 21 is narrated by Ben Lukens and he does an amazing job!  He was absolutely perfect for this book.  I was hooked from the very start and was sad when the book ended.

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 Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Giveaway: Madame Picasso prize pack

August 29, 2014

Madame Picasso prize packTo celebrate the release of Madame Picasso by Anne Girard, I have one Golden Experience Prize pack to give away, thanks to the folks at Harlequin.

From page and screen, see the Golden Age come to life! Enter for your chance to win a copy of Madame Picasso plus a film collection including Moulin Rouge, Midnight in Paris, and The Great Gatsby.

That’s right, one lucky reader will win a copy of Madame Picasso plus three great DVDs!


Madame PicassoIn the bestselling tradition of The Paris Wife, Z, and The Aviator’s Wife, Madame Picasso illuminates the untold story of the powerful woman behind one of the most famous men in history. A veteran writer and historian, Anne Girard takes readers from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of history’s most influential artist. Part love story, part history, Madame Picasso is perfect for book clubs and reading groups.


Novelist Anne Girard brings to life the mesmerizing and untold story of Eva Gouel, the unforgettable woman who stole the heart of the greatest artist of our time.

When Eva Gouel moves to Paris from the countryside, she is full of ambition and dreams of stardom. Though young and inexperienced, she manages to find work as a costumer at the famous Moulin Rouge, and it is here that she first catches the attention of Pablo Picasso, a rising star in the art world.

A brilliant but eccentric artist, Picasso sets his sights on Eva, and Eva can’t help but be drawn into his web. But what starts as a torrid affair soon evolves into what will become the first great love of Picasso’s life.

With sparkling insight and passion, Madame Picasso introduces us to a dazzling heroine, taking us from the salon of Gertrude Stein to the glamorous Moulin Rouge and inside the studio and heart of one of the most enigmatic and iconic artists of the twentieth century.

Read an excerpt here.


Anne Girard is a writer and historian with degrees in English literature and clinical psychology. She has spent extensive time in Paris and lives in California with her husband and children.

Visit her official website

Follow Anne on Facebook

To enter to win this great prize pack, 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 Friday, September 12, 2014.    Comments are welcome (and appreciated) but will not get you an entry in the contest.

Review: I’ll Be Right There

August 28, 2014

I'll Be Right There

The impending death of a beloved professor makes Jung Yoon recall her college days.  She was deeply saddened by her mother’s death but was determined to finish college and returned to the classroom after a year’s absence.  She became friends with fellow students Miru and Myungsuh.  Together, the three of them explored Seoul and it’s changing landscape during the turbulent 1980s.

Part coming of age story and part historical fiction, I’ll Be Right There by Kyung-Sook Shin and translated by Sora Kim-Russell, is a beautifully written, thought provoking story.  At times heart breaking, I was enchanted with Yoon’s story from the very beginning.  I loved her relationship with her friends and her professor and found the backdrop of a politically turbulent Korea fascinating.

The story alternates between Yoon’s point of view and diary entry’s written by Myungsuh.  Kyung-Sook’s writing is beautiful so it’s easy to get lost in her words.  The story is slow to unravel but the writing is so lovely, I didn’t mind.

The audio version of I’ll Be Right There is narrated by Erin Moon.  It was good to hear the names and places pronounced correctly but, overall, I thought the narration was good, but not great.  The audio version is approximately 10 and a half hours long.

Review copy provided by Lisa Weinert Consulting.   I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

August 27, 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 found 3 more words in Somewhere Safe with Somebody Good by Jan Karon.

1. chunder – “‘The Powder Pig has arrived, but no chunder and no chicken necks, please.'”

The most common meaning for chunder is to be sick but I knew that wasn’t right because they were referring to skiing.  In snowboarding slang, chunder is boulders of ice and snow left behind.


2. megillah – “‘The whole megillah,’ said Abe.”

Megillah is a scroll or volume.  It’s also slang for a long involved story or account, which is the meaning I believe the author intended.


3. swivet – “Before getting in a swivet, they prayed the prayer that never fails.”

A swivet is a state of extreme agitation.


 What words do you want to celebrate today?




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