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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?

The Week in Review: 10.26.2018

October 26, 2018
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the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

LISTEN TO THE MARRIAGE by John Jay Osborn is the story of a marriage in crisis told from the perspective of the marriage counselor.  Gretchen and Steve have separated because Gretchen has grown tired of Steve’s infidelities.  They’re not ready to give up on their marriage, though, so they go to Sandy for help.  All of the action in this novel takes place in Sandy’s office and, at first, I found it fascinating.  I grew a little weary of the premise after a while, though, because it seemed like they rehashed the same things over and over but maybe that’s how it is when you’re trying to save a marriage.  It was a quick read for me and I’m glad I read it but I’m not sure it’s for everyone.

Osborn is the author of THE PAPER CHASE and wrote this book after his own marriage was saved through marriage counseling.  He hopes LISTEN TO THE MARRIAGE will “change some marriages for the better.”  (Review copy provided by Farrar, Straus and Giroux.)

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TRUCK FULL OF DUCKS by Ross Burach is a silly picture book with a great message that’s sure to make little ones giggle.  Bernie gets an order for a truck full of ducks but one of the ducks eats the directions so he doesn’t know where to go.  He drives around town, asking everyone he sees if they ordered a truck full of ducks.  When he gets to the Deep Dark Woods, a voice calls out to let Bernie know he ordered the ducks.  Everyone’s scared when they see who it is but they quickly learn that things aren’t always as they appear.  The illustrations in this book are a lot of fun and include a little humor adults will appreciate as well.  The story is humorous and will keep kids’ attention but the best part of this book is the message not to judge by appearance.  (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)

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Because of its cover, I expected ALASKAN HOLIDAY by Debbie Macomber to be a holiday story but it’s not – instead it’s a sweet love story.  Josie takes a summer job cooking at a hotel in Ponder, Alaska to fill time before her job with famous chef Anton in Seattle and while she’s there she falls in love with Palmer.  He loves his life in the rural Alaska town but her job is in the city.  The point of view shifts between the two so readers know how they both feel.  Can the two of them work out a compromise that works?  This book was a fun, quick, and predictable read that I liked but can’t say I loved.  The audio version is read by Laurel Rankin and Luke Daniels – they both did a good job but I preferred Rankin’s narration.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

 

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I’d never seen A Star is Born until the latest version with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper so I wasn’t prepared for the ending.  It’s the story of Jackson Maine, a country rock star who has a chance meeting with talented Ally Campagna.  He’s impressed with her talent and there’s a spark between the two.  He helps launch her career even as he struggles with alcohol and drugs.

I thought Cooper and Gaga owned their roles and had great chemistry.  The movie is emotional and the music and the singing are fantastic.  I suspect this one will be winning some awards.

Off the blog

  • It seems like we went from summer to winter overnight and have decided to skip fall for now.  We had to cut our heat on (yes, cut it on – that’s what we do in the south) this week.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged almost 15,200 Fitbit steps.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

October 24, 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!

This week’s words are brought to you by the letter A and my Word-a-Day calendar since I didn’t get much reading done last week.

1. alembic – “The subtle abstraction of the watercolors suggests that the artist’s landscapes were carefully distilled in the alembic of her mind before taking form on canvas.”

Alembic is a noun that means something that refines or transmutes as if by distillation.

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2. alterity – “The novel focuses on the alterity experienced by adolescents, exploring how they both value and fear it.”

Alterity is a noun that means otherness; specifically: the quality or state of being radically alien to the conscious self or a particular cultural orientation.

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3. adumbrate – “The documentary’s incendiary title adumbrates the director’s controversial position on the subject.”

Adumbrate is a verb and it means to suggest, disclose, or outline partially.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

October 22, 2018

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   These are the books that came while I was out of town last week:

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 10.19.2018

October 19, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I picked up RUSH by Lisa Patton looking for something light to read and I got so much more.  This story, set around the fictional Alpha Delta Beta sorority at Ole Miss, is about young women who challenge the status quo in order to make a difference in the lives of others.  It tackles issues like race and class in a light hearted way.  The story is told from three different points of view:

  • Miss Pearl, an African American woman who’s been a maid at the sorority house for 25 years.  She loves the girls like they’re her own and many of them confide in her.
  • Wilda’s an alumni member of the sorority and serves as a Rush Advisor.  She hopes her daughter will become a pledge this year.
  • Cali, a freshman from a small town who wants nothing more than to pledge a sorority, any sorority.

I loved Patton’s characters (even the evil one) and thought both her writing and the story were solid.  I was engrossed from the beginning and read the book in just a few days.  There’s a lot to discuss in this book and I think a book club could do a lot with it so I think RUSH would make a great book club selection.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)

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Viola Davis’s new book, CORDUROY TAKES A BOW, features the well known stuffed bear, Corduroy.  When Lisa takes Corduroy to the theater she drops him on the floor as she gets caught up in the excitement on the stage.  Corduroy wants to see what’s going on, too, so he makes his way forward, getting a grand tour of the theater.  Fans of Corduroy will love this new addition to the beloved series.  It’s a great way to introduce youngsters to the theater and would be an excellent book to read before a trip there.  Davis reads the audio version herself and does an outstanding job.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

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If you know a young reader who wants to read a Halloween book but isn’t quite ready for something scary, grab a copy of MEGABAT by Anna Humphrey for them.  Daniel and his family have moved to a new house and Daniel hates it and his attic bedroom.  He keeps finding a wet spot on his floor and quickly realizes it’s from a fruit bat that was shipped when the piece of fruit he was on was picked and shipped across the sea.  Megabat is homesick and quite unique – because he can talk.  Daniel and his new friend Talia try to get Megabat home but come up on several obstacles.  They find some help in an unexpected place.  This book incorporates a little pop culture and some adorable illustrations by Kass Reich and it is tons of fun!  I found myself smiling a lot as I read it and I’m sure young readers will do the same.  (Review copy provided by Library Thing Early Reviewers.)

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Even though ANIMAL ZOMBIES! by Chana Stiefel is published by National Geographic Kids, I recommend it to anyone and everyone who’s curious about nature and animals.  Readers learn about all kinds of animals including parasites, bloodsuckers, animals who live in the depths of the ocean and so on.  There’s also information on those who study and photograph them and what they did to become qualified for their jobs.  The book is printed on heavy duty, glossy paper and includes amazing full color photographs.  I loved this book and was eager to share facts and photos with anyone and everyone who would listen.  ANIMAL ZOMBIES! is perfect for kids who love creepy facts as well as budding scientist and reluctant readers – what kid wouldn’t love learning about the giant jellyfish, a creature that “eats and poops through the same hole?”  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

  • I watched the Virginia Tech – North Carolina football game Saturday evening and boy, was it nerve wracking!  I’m happy the Hokies won but do wish they would have done it in a more convincing fashion.
  • We watched Dancing with the Stars Monday night and thought it was good for the most part.  We felt Joe should have been voted off and were disappointed to see Tinashe go.

Off the blog

  • I’m at the beach with my mother and sister and, unfortunately, our week is coming to an end.  We’ve had glorious weather and a wonderful time.
  • I averaged just over 8,100 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

October 17, 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 several words in ANIMAL ZOMBIES by Chana Stiefel.

1. siphonophore – “Scientists call this type of creature a siphonophore.”

A siphonophore is a marine animal that appears as a single organism but is actually a colonial organism made up of several individual animals.

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2. chitin – “The limbs draw the meal into the monster’s beaklike mouth, which is made of chitin, the same hard material in lobster and crab shells.”

Chitin is a fibrous substance consisting of polysaccharides and forming the major constituent in the exoskeleton of arthropods and the cell walls of fungi.  I understand the explanation in the book better than the definition.

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3. matriphagy –  “A mother caecilian, wormlike amphibian that lives underground, engages in matriphagy, feeding her own body to her offspring.”

Matriphagy is the consumption of the mother by her offspring.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

October 15, 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:

Tuesday

Wednesday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?