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Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 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!

My mom was here for over a week so I haven’t been reading much.  I did find one word in A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman.  The word was familiar to me – I’m sure I’ve seen it before – but I couldn’t define it, so I looked it up.

1. plinth – “Ove hoists up the suit-wearing man in a way that men who have never put their foot in a gym yet have spent their entire lives carrying a concrete plinth under each arm tend to be able to do.”

A plinth is a heavy base supporting a statue or vase or the lower square slab at the base of a column.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

At the movies: This Is Where I Leave You

December 2, 2014
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TIWILY poster

Earlier this year, I read, and loved, This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper so I was anxious to see the movie.  Since the author wrote the screenplay, I figured the movie would be pretty true to the book and I was right.  For those who don’t know, it’s the story of the dysfunctional Foxman family who are sitting shiva at the request of their recently deceased patriarch.  The family doesn’t get together all that often because there are a lot of resentments simmering below the surface and, of course, most of them come out during the course of their week long mourning.

I liked the movie version of this story but didn’t love it the way I did the book.  It felt heavier to me and left me with a sad feeling – I’m not totally sure why but maybe it’s because most of the funny scenes are shown in the trailer.  The all star cast does a terrific job so the movie is worth seeing but you might want to wait to rent it.  The DVD of This Is Where I Leave You will be released on December 16 so you won’t have to wait long to do that!

Mailbox Monday

December 1, 2014

Mailbox Monday December 1

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued, and now hosted on its own blog.   My mom went home yesterday and now the house seems awfully empty.  We had a wonderful visit with her, though, so I’m not going to complain.  I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Wednesday

Friday

 

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review – Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul

November 29, 2014

The Long Haul

I’ve been a fan of the Wimpy Kid books ever since I read the first book four years ago.  This graphic novel series by Jeff Kinney is for the younger set and is told from the point of view of Greg Heffley, a young man with an inflated sense of self.

In The Long Haul, the ninth book in this popular series, Greg’s mother decides the family should go on a road trip.

She said the whole point of this trip is to do things we’ve never done before and to have “authentic” experiences.

Greg’s mom bans electronics and says everyone should pack “the bare minimum.” Still, space is an issue and Greg finds himself smashed in the back of the family’s van.  As they go on their adventure, or should I say misadventure, that turns out to be the least of his worries.

This story is told in the traditional diary format and includes lots of Kinney’s great drawings but, for some reason, it’s my least favorite of the bunch.  That’s not to say I didn’t like it – I liked it a great deal – I just didn’t love it the way I have the rest of the series.  I think it’s because Greg (and his ego) wasn’t the focus of this book the way he has been in the rest of the series.  Still, the book is well worth reading.  As with the rest of the series, The Long Haul can stand alone but I can’t imagine why you wouldn’t want to read the whole series.

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.

 I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: City of Bones

November 28, 2014

City of Bones

When a dog discovers a human bone, Harry Bosch is called in to investigate.  The bone has been buried for over twenty years so it’s a tough case but Harry is determined, especially when forensics reveals that it belonged to a young boy who had been abused.

Harry has to dig through lots of buried secrets to get to the truth.  Things start to heat up in the investigation and in his life when he meets a beautiful young police officer.

City of Bones, by Michael Connelly, was first published in 2002 and is the 8th book in the Harry Bosch series.  I’ve read quite a few books in this series, all completely out of order, and this is the earliest one for me.  I liked it quite a bit but have to admit that it’s not my favorite Harry Bosch book.  Maybe it’s because I’ve read the series out of order or maybe it’s because Connelly’s writing has improved.  Either way, the book is still very good and fans of Connelly and Harry Bosch won’t want to miss it!

The audio version of City of Bones is narrated by Peter Jay Fernandez and he does a terrific job.  There are some odd sound effects at strange times in the book that were a little distracting but they didn’t keep me from enjoying the book.  It’s on 9 CDs and lasts approximately 11 hours.

Review copy provided by Hachette Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 26, 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!

My first word this week came from Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews.

1. kugel – “Some had flocked swirls or stripes, and a few were kugel and teardrop shaped.”

I think of kugel as a potato dish and I knew that didn’t fit here so I did a little digging.  According to Wiktionary, kugel means:

  • n. A baked pudding of rice, pasta, or potatoes with vegetables or raisins and spices; a traditional Jewish dish.
  • n. A traditional house ornament made of glass.
  • n. An overly materialistic and excessively groomed young woman.

Since the book was referring to Christmas ornaments, the author obviously means a traditional house ornament made of glass.

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My second word came from Rhapsody in Books‘ review of The Beginning of Everything by Robyn Schneider.

2. vitiate – “She was trying to establish that Ezra was actually smart; I don’t think it would have vitiated that aim if she had provided proper attribution.”

Vitiate means to make faulty or defective: impair.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Mouse-Proof Kitchen

November 25, 2014

The Mouse Proof Kitchen

Anna and Tobias plan to move to France once their daughter is born.  When she’s born with severe disabilities they wonder if it’s the right thing to do.  Tobias finally convinces Anna and they, along with their daughter, Freya, move to a house in Provence.

The house is not what they dreamed of, though – it needs a lot of work and mice run rampant through the kitchen.  Still, they try to make things work but Freya’s increasing medical emergencies seem to be pulling them apart.

The Mouse-Proof Kitchen by Saira Shah is loosely based on the author’s own life.  Written with raw honesty, I found it heartbreaking, uplifting, charming, and compelling.

Caring for a child in Freya’s condition isn’t easy and Shah doesn’t sugarcoat things.  Anna and Tobias are honest in their emotions – they love their daughter but wonder how long they can care for her.  It puts a strain on their marriage as they question what they should do.

This book is well written, has a great storyline, and is full of wonderful characters.  I felt for Anna and Tobias and was completely charmed by their neighbors in France.  The Mouse-Proof Kitchen is full of heart and emotion and I thoroughly enjoyed it – be sure to have a few tissues handy when you read it.

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