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Wondrous Words Wednesday

October 12, 2016

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 one more word in BIRDSEYE: THE ADVENTURES OF A CURIOUS MAN by Mark Kurlansky.

1. bagasse – “It took six months to dry the bagasse enough to use it for papermaking.”

Bagasse is the pulpy residue left after the extraction of juice from sugar cane.


I found quite a few words in WHEN IN FRENCH by Lauren Collins.

2, 3. gadroon, mammatus – “You can, but the carved edge of a table seems more conspicuous once you know it’s gadrooning, a pouchy cloud more memorable once you can call it a mammatus.”


Gadroon is a decorative edge made of metal or wood, usually made with inverted flutings.  The edge of this tray is gadrooned.

Mammatus is a meteorological term applied to a cellular pattern of pouches hanging underneath the base of a cloud.  You can find some beautiful examples of this online.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: Snow Hunters

October 11, 2016


At the end of the Korean War, Yohan is freed from a POW camp and leaves his native country behind for Brazil.  Once there, he becomes a tailor’s apprentice and meets four people who help him make sense of his past.

SNOW HUNTERS by Paul Yoon is a beautifully written tale of a man trying to make a new life for himself in a new world.  A world where the customs and language are unfamiliar to him.  He wants to escape his past but needs it to help him figure out the present.

Yoon’s writing is spare and it’s evident each word in this book is carefully chosen.  Even though the characters have tragic pasts they are learning to live again in this wonderful novel.  At just over 200 pages, SNOW HUNTERS is a short book but it’s not a quick read because you’ll want to savor ever word.

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

Mailbox Monday

October 10, 2016


Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.   Last week was a tough one in South Carolina with the destruction of Hurricane Matthew and, thankfully, our area was safe from the storm.   It was a busy week for me since I worked for Vance.  I’ve got another busy week coming up but do have some fun things, like book club, in the mix.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:



What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Werewolf Weekend (Tales From the Scaremaster)

October 7, 2016




At school one day, an unknown librarian invites Emma to help herself to one of a row of journals in the library.  Emma chooses a leather one with a small brass clasp.  She begins to write in it, complaining that her upcoming weekend will be boring.  She glances away and when she looks back at the page, she discovers someone (or something) else has written on it:

The Scaremaster doesn’t want

you to have a boring weekend.

You started the story, now I will

finish it.  My way!

Later, Emma is excited to find she’ll be spending the night with her best friend Samantha and Samantha’s cousins but things don’t go exactly as she planned.  First of all, Emma and Sam’s older cousin, Cassie, are at odds and, second of all, Emma’s journal is writing a story that seems to be coming true!

WEREWOLF WEEKEND by B. A. Frade and Stacia Deutsch is the latest book in the Tales From the Scaremaster series and I thought it was a lot of fun!  It’s aimed at the middle grade set so it’s just creepy enough to keep readers glued to its pages, but it’s not so scary it’ll keep them awake at night.

Emma doesn’t know what she’s gotten herself into when she selects that old journal from the library but she quickly finds out it’s no ordinary book!  When it starts writing a scary story starring Emma, Sam, and Sam’s two cousins, she’s got to figure out how to change the outcome but can she do it in time?

To make this series even more fun, the journal is passed along to someone else in a fun, unique way in the epilogue.

If you know any young readers who enjoy a spine tingling tale at Halloween, be sure to pick up WEREWOLF WEEKEND!

Ikid konnection new 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.

Review copy provided by LB Kids. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

SIBA 2016: The Books

October 6, 2016
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I was lucky enough to attend the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) Trade Show in Savannah this year.  It was a wonderful event and an awesome time to learn about upcoming releases.  At times, my head was swimming with all the information I gathered.  These are some of the books I’m particularly excited about.

Adult books


  • INHERITING EDITH by Zoe Fishman (William Morrow | Oct. 18, 2016)  is the story of single mother Maggie Sheets.  Maggie cleans houses for a living and one of her clients leaves her a beautiful home, but the client’s 82 year old mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s comes with the deal.
  • ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (Penguin Random House | May 9, 2017)  When socially awkward Eleanor and her co-worker Raymond save an older man who has fallen, their lives change forever.  I had to have a copy of this when I saw it was  Pamela Dorman book.
  • I’LL TAKE YOU THERE by Wally Lamb (Harper | Nov. 22, 2016)  It’s Wally Lamb, need I say more?  Seriously, this is the story of Felix Funicello who is visited by Lois, the ghost of a Hollywood director from the silent picture era.  Through Lois, Felix revisits some scenes from his childhood and reconnects with the women who are the most important in his life.  (Felix is the character from an older Lamb book, WISHIN’ AND HOPIN’.)
  • NO ONE IS COMING TO SAVE US by Stephanie Powell Watts (Ecco | April 4, 2017)  I couldn’t resist this book that is described as “The Great Gatsby brilliantly recast in the contemporary south: a powerful first novel about an extended African-American family and their colliding visions of the American dream.”
  • EVERYTHING YOU WANT ME TO BE by Mindy Mejia (Atria | Jan. 3, 2017) is the story of a young woman who tries to please everyone.  When she’s murdered and her life is reconstructed, the town’s darkest secrets are revealed.
  • THE GUINEVERES by Sarah Domet (Flatiron Books | Oct. 4, 2016) is the story of four girls, all named Guinevere) who are left in a convent home by their families.

Children’s books


  • YOU’RE BACON ME CRAZY by Suzanne Nelson (Scholastic | March 28, 2017) I’ll be honest here and tell you that I was initially interested in this book because of its title but the plot sold me.  It’s the story of Tessa, who works in her aunt’s food truck.  When dreamy Asher starts working there and doesn’t pull his weight, the troubles begin.
  • A BOY CALLED BAT by Elana K. Arnold (Walden Pond Press | March 14, 2017) Autistic Bat’s veterinarian mom brings home a baby skunk for him to care for until she can take it to a wild animal shelter.  Bat knows he and the skunk belong together and must figure out a way to convince his mom to let him keep it.
  • SHORT by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Dial Books for Young Readers | Jan. 31, 2017) is the story of Julia, a short girl who’s cast as a Munchkin in The Wizard of Oz and befriends an adult with dwarfism.
  • GERTIE’S LEAP TO GREATNESS by Kate Beasley (Farrar Straus Giroux | Oct. 4, 2016) Gertie is confused by her mother’s plan to leave her father and great aunt but Gertie has a plan to rectify things.

I’d like to thank SIBA for allowing me to attend their trade show this year.  I had an awesome time!

Wondrous Words Wednesday

October 5, 2016

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!

These week’s words are from BIRDSEYE: THE ADVENTURES OF A CURIOUS MAN by Mark Kurlanksy.

1. brewis – “The ultimate winter survival dish was something he called bruise, which is sometimes known as brewis, a combination of dried and salted food mixed with a tremendous amount of fat.”

According to Wikipedia, brewis is made with cod and hard bread or hard tack.  It’s a traditional Newfoundland meal with many different recipes.  It doesn’t sound very appealing to me.


2. lumper – “Kids could be lumpers if they were big and strong enough and by working very long hours could earn enough money, if they were frugal, to buy a house when they got married.”

A lumper is a worker who unloads cargo.


3. anhydrous – “Always an astute marketer, he called his process anhydrous food as opposed to dehydrated, just as his food was called frosted rather than frozen.”

Anhydrous means of a substance containing no water.


What words do you want to celebrate today?

SIBA 2016: The Events

October 4, 2016


Every fall, the Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance (SIBA) hosts a trade show for its member bookstores and they’re kind enough to allow bloggers to join them.  This year’s trade show was held in Savannah and I was lucky enough to attend it with my dear friend Julie of Booking Mama fame.  It was Julie’s first trip to Savannah so we skipped a few SIBA events to do a little touring of the city.


The first event of SIBA was a party at Mary Kay Andrews‘ house on Tybee Island.  I’ve never met more gracious hosts than Mary Kay and her husband.  They allowed everyone to see the whole house which was absolutely charming and served great drinks and food.  All of the recipes were from Mary Kay’s upcoming cookbook and the food was delicious.  I was excited to win this fabulous door prize, courtesy of Lodge Cast Iron:


We were thrilled to chat with a few other authors like Mary Alice Monroe, Patti Callahan Henry, and Marybeth Whalen while we were there.

Julie and  attended three SIBA events on Friday.  The first was the Signaround, which is exactly what it sounds like.  Authors from the day’s panels were there to sign books.  I was thrilled to get autographed copies of DESPERATION ROAD by Michael Farris Smith, MISS ELLA OF COMMANDER’S PALACE by Ella Brenan and Ti Martin, THE MIGHTY ODDS by Amy Ignatow,  CHICKEN by Cynthia Graubart as well as several others.

Our next event was Rep Pix.  At this event publisher’s reps are given two minutes to pitch their favorite upcoming books.  And when I say two minutes, I mean two minutes – Nicki runs a very tight ship.  I took furious notes during the event (sharing Julie’s pen until someone was kind enough to give me one of their own) but can’t find them right now.  Needless to say, all of the books sounded terrific.

We wrapped up the day with The First 180 Days Party.  This party features authors whose books were published during the first half of the year.  The room was packed but I still managed to meet so many great authors and come away with some wonderful autographed books including INSPECTOR FLYTRAP by Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell, THE MAN WHO SHOT OUT MY EYE IS DEAD by Chanelle Benz, THE ORPHAN’S TALE by Pam Jenoff, THE BOOK OF POLLY by Kathy Hepinstall, and LOVING VS VIRGINIA by Patricia Hruby Powell.


We had an early wake-up call on Saturday because we had tickets to A Taste of Harper Collins Breakfast.  Harrison Scott Key (THE WORLD’S LARGEST MAN), Kevin Wilson (PERFECT LITTLE WORLD), Sara Zarr (GEM & DIXIE), Christina Baker Kline (A PIECE OF THE WORLD), and Peter Swanson (HER EVERY FEAR) were the featured speakers.  Julie and I were invited to sit at a table with Christina Baker Kline and Sara Zarr.  We were both geeking out but we were able to hold ourselves in check pretty well.  All of the speakers were amazing and now I’m excited about their books.

The trade show floor opened after the breakfast and we wandered around it for a while.  I scored some great books but will feature them in another post.

Later in the afternoon, we attended a reception held by Read Savannah.  There were several authors there but we spent most of our time visiting with Sandy and Heather. It was great catching up with Sandy and meeting Heather.

Saturday’s SIBA Supper was sponsored by Hachette and featured Jodi Picoult (SMALL GREAT THINGS), Robert Hicks (THE ORPHAN MOTHER), Beth Macy (TRUEVINE), and David Arnold (KIDS OF APPETITE).  Once again, the speakers were fabulous and made me excited about their books.


Julie and I made one last lap of trade show floor before attending the final event of SIBA – The Moveable Feast of Authors.  This is a great lunch event where authors rotate around the tables to talk about their books during lunch.  Since there are only a few people at each table, it’s also a chance to ask questions and chat with the authors.  We met Liane Moriarty (TRULY, MADLY, GUILTY), Robert Olen Butler (PERFUME RIVER), Katharine McGee (THE THOUSANDTH FLOOR), Kathleen Glasgow (GIRL IN PIECES), Marty Jourard (MUSIC EVERYWHERE: THE ROCK AND ROLL ROOTS OF A SOUTHERN TOWN), Ben Westhoff (ORIGINAL GANGSTAS), Kelly French (JUNIPER), William Ferris (THE SOUTH IN COLOR: A VISUAL JOURNEY), and Susan Meissner (SECRETS OF A CHARMED LIFE).  I’d seen a few of their books on the show floor but wasn’t sure I wanted to read them but after meeting the authors and hearing about the books, I want to read them all!