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Mailbox Monday

December 16, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  My mailbox wasn’t too busy but I’m excited about all my new books.

Monday

Thursday

Friday

What was in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 12.13.2019

December 13, 2019
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

At the time of his death, Prince was working on a memoir with Dan Piepenbring.  Unfortunately, they weren’t very far along before Prince’s death brought their collaboration to an end and I think the book suffered because of it.  Over half of THE BEAUTIFUL ONES was an introduction by Piepenbring and the rest felt scattered and unfocused.  I listened to the audio book which was narrated by Piepenbring, Esperanza Spalding, and Adepero Oduye.  Piepenbring did a fine job reading his introduction but I found the two female narrators to be odd choices to read Prince’s words.  The audio version of this book was a disappointment to me but it’s my understanding the print version contains photographs and lyrics so I think that’s probably the way to go with this book.  Check it out if you’re an avid Prince fan.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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National Geographic Kids BRAIN CANDY: SERIOUSLY SWEET FACTS TO SATISFY YOUR CURIOSITY by Julie Beer and Chelsea Lin is chock full of trivia.  It’s geared toward middle grade readers but is appropriate for the whole family.  I know I loved this book and shared tidbits from it with anyone who would listen to me.  Both pages on each page spread focus on one thing, like taste, comics, or rubber ducks.  Here are a few of the things I learned:

  • “At 7.5 gallons (28L) per person a year, New Zealand consumes the most ice cream of any country.”
  • “Flying snakes can glide the length of a soccer field.”
  • “Ants don’t like the smell of lemon.”

This book is printed on high quality, glossy paper and is filled with full color photographs and graphics.  There’s an index in the back of the book, making it easy to look up fun facts.  The whole family could have fun sharing facts from this terrific book over the holidays.  It would be an excellent choice for a gift exchange or a stocking stuffer.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

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When make-up artist Jessica is working on a pair of clients, she hears one of them talk about bailing on a psychological study.  She grabs her client’s phone while she’s not looking and jots down the phone number and offers to take her place.  She’s accepted and finds herself being manipulated and has to figure out how to get out of a risky situation.

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen is a bestselling book that’s won lots of praise.  The point of view in the story alternates between Jessica and Dr. Shields – the professor conducting the study – with Jessica’s told in the first person and Dr. Shields’ told in the third person.  I know a lot of people who’ve loved this book but I’m sad to say I’m not one of them.  I liked the book quite a bit but can’t say that I loved it.  For me, the tension would build up while Jessica was telling the story and ratchet down when Dr. Shields was.  Maybe that was the point, but it was too jarring for me.  I also had trouble suspending disbelief a few times.  Still, I liked the book enough to want to read more by this duo.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I’ve been out of town, visiting my mom, most of the week.  We put together one puzzle while I was there and it was a tough one.
  • I averaged just over 8,200 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 11, 2019

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’ve found one new word in ANTHEM by Deborah Wiles.

1. llano – “Outside, Molly walked across the grassy llano in time to watch the sun explode, its yellow orb turning into prisms of deepest purple and pink and red and orange as it slipped behind the mountains in the distance.”

 Llano is the Spanish word for plain and it means a treeless grassy plain.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

December 9, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  It was a slow week around here but I’m okay with that since there wasn’t much reading going on.

Saturday

What was in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 12.06.2019

December 6, 2019
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

THE FALL OF RICHARD NIXON: A REPORTER REMEMBERS WATERGATE by Tom Brokaw is more about the time period (1974) than it was actually about Richard Nixon and the end of his presidency.  Brokaw starts out by telling how he became a White House correspondent and goes on to tell about Nixon’s downfall but also includes many personal anecdotes, telling about parties he and his wife attended in Washington, press conferences he attended, etc.  There’s not much new material here and those not familiar with Nixon and Watergate might have trouble following the timeline.  I enjoyed some of the personal stories but felt the book was just okay.  Brokaw narrates the audio book and does an okay job – it’s obvious by his voice that he’s getting older.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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SURPRISING STORIES BEHIND EVERYDAY STUFF by Stephanie Warren Drimmer is another winner from National Geographic Kids.  This book might be small (about 6½ inches square) but it is jam packed with fun information!  Divided into chapters like Toys & Games, Beauty, Hygiene & Medicine, and Fashion. there’s something for everyone included between the covers.  Have you ever wondered about the origin of umbrellas?  They were invented over 4,000 years ago to protect the rich and powerful from the sun.  The Chinese realized they could be used in the rain, too, but, at first, only women carried them.  How about the eye chart?  That was invented by Dr. Ferdnand Monoyer, a French doctor who included his last name on the original chart.  I had so much fun reading this book and sharing my newfound knowledge and know the target audience of middle grade readers will as well.  SURPRISING STORIES BEHIND EVERYDAY STUFF would make a great holiday gift for curious youngsters.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

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PREMEDITATED PEPPERMINT is the third book in Amanda Flower‘s Amish Candy Shop Mystery series featuring Bailey King.  After living in New York City for a while, Bailey moved to Harvest, Ohio to help her Amish grandmother in her candy shop.  As Harvest is gearing up for Christmas, Bailey’s old boyfriend and celebrity chef, Eric, comes to town to shoot a holiday special.  When a member of the crew is murdered in Harvest, Eric is the first one to find the body so he becomes the prime suspect.  Bailey’s not his biggest fan but she has trouble believing he killed someone and she sets out to find out who did.

I had no trouble catching up with the characters in this fun cozy mystery set in Amish country and think it stands alone just fine.  I liked Bailey and the rest of the characters as well as the little town of Harvest.  As you would expect with a cozy mystery, it wasn’t too graphic and the solution to the mystery was believable.  There’s just enough Christmas in the book to put readers in a holiday mood but not too much that it couldn’t be read at other times of the year.  In case you can’t tell, I enjoyed this book and hope to read more of the series.  (Review copy provided by Kensington.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I thought A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood was going to about Mr. Rogers and his personal life but it’s not.  Rather, it’s about his relationship with Lloyd Vogel (based on Tom Junod), an Esquire magazine journalist who was assigned to write a puff piece about Rogers.   Vogel was struggling with some issues in his life causing him to be bitter and angry and meeting Mr. Rogers changed his outlook on life.  I enjoyed the movie (and Hanks’ performance as Rogers) and came out of the theater wanting to be a better person.  If you go see this one, be sure to take tissues with you.

Off the blog

  • Our company left Saturday and it sure has been quiet around here.

  • It’s late this year, but our Thanksgiving cactus finally bloomed.

  • We got our Christmas tree up and I made a dent in my shopping but still have a lot of holiday prep to do.

  • I started a new puzzle and, with all that’s going on, I imagine it will take me a while to complete it.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 16,900 Fitbit steps a day.

What’s going on in your corner of the world?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 4, 2019

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 a few words in BRAIN CANDY by Julie Beer and Chelsea Lin.

1. alipogram – “A style of writing that deliberately omits a letter or letters is called a lipogram.”

I looked this up even though it’s defined in the sentence.  An alipogram is a composition from which the writer systematically omits a certain letter or letters of the alphabet.  An example is the book ELLA MINNOW PEA by Mark Dunn and I suspect it’s much more difficult to do than it seems.

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2. ageusia – “Ageusia is the inability to taste anything.”

This word is defined in the sentence too.  Ageusia is the loss of taste functions of the tongue, particularly the inability to detect sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

December 2, 2019

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   Here’s a peek into my mailbox:

Monday

Tuesday

Saturday

What was in your mailbox?