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Mailbox Monday

November 12, 2018

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I found this book in my mailbox last week:

Tuesday

Friday

What was in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 11.09.2018

November 9, 2018
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the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

LOUISIANA’S WAY HOME by Kate DiCamillo is the story of ten year old Louisiana Elefante.  She and her Granny are leaving their Florida home and Louisiana doesn’t understand why.  She’s not happy about leaving her friends, neighbors, and pets, either.  The pair make an unexpected stop in Georgia when Granny has a dental emergency.  As Granny recovers, Louisiana has to learn to take care of herself even as she learns a shocking secret.  She quickly discovers what family means.  I thought this middle grade book was delightful.  It’s told from Louisiana’s point of view and she is one spunky character – I’m sure young readers will love her and her voice as they read the exciting story.  I listened to the audio version which is wonderfully narrated by Cassandra Morris.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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BARREL-AGED STOUT AND SELLING OUT: GOOSE ISLAND, ANHEUSER-BUSCH, AND HOW CRAFT BEER BECAME BIG BUSINESS by Josh Noel is an important read for beer drinkers, whether their beer of choice is craft or not.  Since my family is in the beer business, I was pretty familiar with the story of Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) buying craft breweries to create their “High End” portfolio but I didn’t know the whole story of John Hall and his creation of Goose Island Brewing.  I was also familiar with AB InBev’s business practices – pushing their distributors to only sell their beer, misleading consumers about where beer is brewed, changing craft breweries’ recipes, cutting prices on beer to penetrate markets, using “pay for play” to get their products on tap, and so on.  I don’t think it was necessary to know any of that to follow this well written book, though.  Noel did a great job filling in details and presenting both sides of the story in this very readable book.  He says,

Craft beer won: it forced the biggest beer company in the world to change.

Craft beer lost: it had been commandeered by the biggest beer company in the world.

and let’s readers make up their own mind.  For me, he reinforced my family’s decision to not support AB InBev.  If you, or someone you know, loves beer, you’ll want to grab a copy of this book.  (Review copy provided by Chicago Review Press.)

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STAR IN THE JAR by Sam Hay is a sweet picture book about a little boy who likes to hunt for treasure.  One day, he found a shiny star and asked if anyone had lost it.  When no one claimed it, he put in a jar and took it with him everywhere he went.  He loved that star but wasn’t sure it was happy.  When he saw a message in the sky, he knew what he had to do to help the star get home, but he didn’t know how.  I loved the way he and his sister worked to solve his problem and think the message of putting others before yourself is terrific.  Sarah Massini‘s illustrations are lovely and help bring the story to life.  This is a terrific bedtime story for 3 to 5 year olds.  (Review copy provided by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky.)

 

Currently reading:

On the Screen

This week’s County edition of Dancing with the Stars wasn’t my favorite.  I felt like the focus was on the singers as much as on the dancers plus it’s not my favorite style of music.  However, I thoroughly enjoyed the team dances.  I was sad to see DeMarcus and Lindsay go but I never vote so I can’t complain.

Off the blog

  • Carl and I took a little ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the leaves changing.  They were prettier than this photo shows but I don’t think this is going to be the best year for leaf peeping in our part of the country.
  • We exercised our right to vote on Tuesday.

  • My cousin was visiting his mom so we went back to visit my aunt this week.  My cousin and I tried to figure out when we last saw each other and the best we could come up with was it’s been well over 30 years.  He might look a little older than he did then but he’s the same great guy I remembered.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged just over 16,250 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 7, 2018

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 more words in MARILLA OF GREEN GABLES by Sarah McCoy.

1. liegeman – “He bowed like a liegeman.”

I probably learned this in a history class years ago.  A liegeman is a vassal who owes feudal service or allegiance to a nobleman.  

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2. bannock – “‘I’m making an herb bannock.'”

Bannock is a type of fry bread, which originates from Scotland but was eventually adopted by the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

November 5, 2018

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Wednesday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 11.02.2018

November 2, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Jodi Picoult has never been one to shy away from controversial topics and things are no different in her latest novel, A SPARK OF LIGHT.  The book opens after a shooting and hostage taking at an abortion clinic in Mississippi and goes backward in time from there.  It was rather confusing at first but I caught on after a while but the book still fell flat for me.   I didn’t feel any connection with the characters and wanted more tension from the story.  I listened to this one on audio and I thought Bahni Turpin’s narration was fine but wonder if the book would flow better in print.  I did feel Picoult tried to share both sides of the abortion debate in the novel but she makes it abundantly clear which side she’s on in her author’s note at the end.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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THE ALMOST SISTERS by Joshilyn Jackson is the story of graphic novelist Leia Birch Brigg.  At the same time Leia realizes she’s pregnant from a one night stand, she learns her sister’s marriage is falling apart, and she’s called to Alabama where her beloved grandmother, Birchie is suffering from dementia.  Birchie’s best friend lives with and cares for her and Leia discovers the two have been keeping a decades old secret that could have some serious repercussions.

I’ve long been a fan of Jackson’s so I don’t know why it took me so long to pick this book up but I’m so glad I did.  Jackson has a way with characters and dialogue that sucked me into the book from the very beginning.  I adored Leia and her family, quirks, dementia, and all.  There was enough tension to keep me turning the pages quickly and enough twists to keep me guessing.  In case you can’t tell, I thought this book was terrific.  The story had a mystery, some humor, and touched on a few issues so would make a great book for book club discussions.  If you haven’t read THE ALMOST SISTERS, you’ll want to pick it up soon.  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

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HENRY IS KIND: A STORY OF MINDFULNESS by Linda Ryden is a sweet story for early readers.  Henry’s teacher has his class practice “Heartfulness,” to learn to be kinder to themselves and others.  The class starts a Kindness Project and each student is supposed to do something kind and draw a picture of it.  When it’s time to share their pictures, Henry doesn’t have one because he can’t think of any kind things he’s done.  His classmates come to the rescue, though, and remind him of kind acts he’s done toward them.  I thought this book was thoughtful and loved the spirit of caring it encourages.  It’s a wonderful book to share with youngsters, especially in a classroom setting.  Shearry Malone‘s illustrations are nice and include diverse characters.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

 

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I enjoyed the Halloween episode of Dancing with the Stars and thought most of the dances were clever.  I especially enjoyed the dances by Milo and Witney and Evanna and Keo.  I’ll admit I’m still partial to DeMarcus and Lindsay and can’t figure out why Joe is still hanging around.

Off the blog

  • We got a little bit of weather from the remnants of Hurricane Willa and didn’t get to walk last Friday.  I walked at least three miles every other day and averaged almost 15,750 Fitbit steps a day.
  • Fall is finally here!  We’re enjoying the cool nights and warm days.

  • Carl and I had so much fun taking my aunt out to lunch.  She’s 90 and sweet and sharp as a tack.
  • We had a great turnout on Halloween.  We had so many trick-or-treaters, I had to turn our lights out early and I’d bought extra candy!

 

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

October 31, 2018

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’m currently reading MARILLA OF GREEN GABLES by Sarah McCoy and found this word in it.

1. croft – “‘It’s a beauty of a croft, though,’ Mr. Blair said in defense.”

A croft is a small rented farm made up of a plot of arable land attached to a house and with a right of pasturage held in common with other such farms.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

October 29, 2018

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   I found these books in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Wednesday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox?