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Mailbox Monday

December 11, 2017

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

Thursday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?

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The Week in Review: 12.08.2017

December 8, 2017
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I love the Wimpy Kid books and am always excited when a new one comes out so I grabbed a copy of DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: THE GETAWAY by Jeff Kinney as soon as I could.  Greg Heffley’s family has decided to forgo Christmas gifts and go on a vacation to Isla de Corales, which is where Greg’s parents went on their honeymoon.  In true Heffley fashion, things don’t go as expected and Greg shares all the details in his diary.  The latest edition of this fun series started out strong for me.  I laughed out loud several times as the Heffley’s raced to the airport and flew to their destination.  The book lost some of it’s steam after a while, though, but picked up again at the end.  This wasn’t my favorite book of the series but Wimpy Kid fans won’t want to miss it.

Nadia Murad is a young Yazidi woman who was living a peaceful, quiet life with her mother and siblings in Kocho, Iraq when ISIS came in and killed most of the men and captured most of the women.  Murad was among the captured who were bought and sold and abused physically, mentally, and sexually.  She managed to escape when one of her captors left the door unlocked.  She shares her horrific story in her memoir, THE LAST GIRL.  This was not an easy read – it made me feel queasy at times – but I feel it is an important one.  It was horrifying and eye-opening and I applaud Murad for her bravery in sharing her story.  The audio version is read by Ilyana Kadushin and she does an adequate job – I thought her delivery was a little flat but it would be hard to be expressive when telling a troubling story like this.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

National Geographic Kids JUST JOKING JUMBO: 1,000 GIANT JOKES & 1,000 FUNNY PHOTOS ADD UP TO BIG LAUGHS is so much fun!  This book is chock full of riddles, puns, and tongue twisters that will keep kids in stitches.  It also has great photos of animals throughout and they even sneak in fun facts throughout the book so kids can learn a thing or two while they’re laughing.  The book is divided into chapters by subjects so readers can dip in and out of it making it perfect for reluctant readers and seasoned readers alike.  Here are a few of the jokes that made me laugh:

Q: What did the pancake say to the waffle?

A: “Watch out for the knife.  He’ll try to butter you up!”

Q: What do you call a monster that has sticky fingers and is afraid of spiders?

A: A little sister.

This book is recommended for 7 to 10 year olds but I think kids up to 13 or so would enjoy it.  It would make a great gift this holiday season!  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

  • Vance and I went to see Lady Bird – the coming of age story of Christine “Lady Bird” McPherson that focuses on the contentious relationship between her and her mother.  Lady Bird is determined to get out of Sacramento and her mother can’t understand why.  This movie is getting tons of praise from both critics and viewers but both Vance and I were underwhelmed, maybe because of all the hype.  We weren’t the only ones, though – there were three other people in the theater when we saw the movie and, when it was over, they turned to us and said, “That sucked.”  The movie was well cast and the acting was good but the story didn’t feel original to us.

  • It’s been almost six years since I read WONDER by R. J. Palacio but I still remember how special the book was so I was a little leery about seeing the movie.  I saw it this week with a friend and I’m thrilled to say they captured the spirit of the book.  I don’t remember enough of the minor details to know if they got those right but, in the end, I don’t think it matters because of the fabulous message this movie conveys.  I laughed and cried while I watched it and love the fact that it’s a movie the whole family can see together.  You don’t want to miss Wonder – it’s well worth seeing in the theater.

Off the blog

  • I went to a Christmas parade in a small town near us with a few friends.  It was small and kind of cheesy, but we had loads of fun.
  • I made some progress on Christmas prep but still have a lot to do.
  • Weather experts predicted a warm, dry winter for us but, so far, it hasn’t been all that warm.  The high today’s only supposed to be 40ºF and we may see some snow flurries today and tomorrow.  Snow in December is rare for us.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 20,000 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 6, 2017

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!

With the holidays approaching, most of my reading has been via audio so I had to turn back to my Word-a-Day calendar this week.

1. distrait – “Frances has noticed that her students tend to become more distrait late in the spring semester when the weather is warm and thoughts turn to vacation.”

Distrait is an adjective that means apprehensively divided or withdrawn in attention: distracted.  I’m certainly distrait these days with all that’s going on.

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2. metonymy – “American journalists employ metonymy whenever they say ‘on Capital Hill’ instead of ‘in the U.S. Congress.'”

Metonymy is a noun that means a figure of speech consisting of the use of the name of one thing for that of another of which it is an attribute or with which it is associated.

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3. philippic – “The author’s sharp wit and self-deprecating humor turned what would otherwise have been an unreadable philippic into an entertaining, if provocative, essay.”

Philippic is a noun that means a discourse or declamation full of bitter condemnation: tirade.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

December 4, 2017

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

Thursday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 12.01.2017

December 1, 2017
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Don’t let the fact that it’s written by National Geographic Kids fool you, WEIRD BUT TRUE!: CHRISTMAS: 300 FESTIVE FACTS TO LIGHT UP THE HOLIDAYS is for anyone who likes trivia and Christmas.  This fun book is printed on glossy paper and is filled with bright, colorful photos and illustrations.  It’s full of fun facts like, “In medieval times, holiday revelers feasted on stuffed peacocks and boar meat,” and “an American woman set the record for most Christmas trees chopped down in two minutes: 27.”  I’m sure my family was glad when I finished the book because I felt the need to share lots of fun facts from it.  This book would be great to share with your family during the holidays and would be fun to tuck away in a stocking.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

SPACE BOY AND THE SNOW MONSTER by Dian Curtis Regan is a cute picture book about a boy with a big imagination.  Niko, his dog, and his toy robot are headed to their spaceship when the robot is captured by an evil snow monster who just so happens to look like Niko’s sister.  Niko and Tag head off to Planet Ice where his dog is captured as well so it’s up to Niko to save his dog and his robot.  I loved Niko and his imagination and thought the story was a lot of fun and think young readers will too.  Robert Neubecker‘s illustrations are fabulous and are sure to help keep readers engaged.  You don’t have to wait for a snowy day to enjoy this story of a creative little boy.  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

THE GARDEN OF SMALL BEGINNINGS by Abbi Waxman is the story of Lillian Girvan, a young widow struggling to make a normal life for herself and her young daughters while she struggles with grief.  She’s an artist for a publishing company and has been tasked with illustrating a gardening guide by The Bloem Company.  At the suggestion of her boss, she signs up for a gardening course given by one of the Bloem sons and she learns so much more than she bargained for.  Lillian’s grief felt real to me and I thought she and the other characters in this sweet, charming book were wonderful.  I loved the way Waxman introduced each chapter with gardening tips and infused the story with humor.   (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

I was nervous about the Commonwealth Cup because the Virginia Tech – Virginia game is not only a big state rivalry, it’s a family rivalry as well.  The last time Virginia won was 2003 but their team is better than it has been in a while.  I was so glad to see Tech’s defense step up and win the game 10 to 0!

Off the blog

  • I had my annual mammogram bright and early Monday morning.  I don’t know what I was thinking when I scheduled it for then but I’m glad it’s over with.  I’ve already gotten the results back and everything’s normal.

  • I started working on one of the puzzles Vance gave me for my birthday but I haven’t gotten very far on it.

  • Our Thanksgiving cactus is blooming.  This plant has been mostly neglected for ten years but still blooms every year.

  • I worked on it a little each day and finally finished our Christmas tree last night.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning and averaged almost 19,700 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 29, 2017

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 listening to THE LAST GIRL, a memoir by Naida Murad, a Yazidi woman who was held captive by ISIS.  I wanted to know more about the Yazidis so I did a search and discovered this word on Wikipedia.

1. endogamous – “The Yazidis, or Yezidis are a Kurdish religious minority indigenous to a region of northern Mesopotamia who are strictly endogamous.”

Endogamy is the custom of marrying only within the limits of a local community, clan, or tribe.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

November 27, 2017

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

Tuesday

What did you find in your mailbox?