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Wondrous Words Wednesday

July 4, 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 these words while reading TANGERINE by Christine Mangan.

1. hammam – “Instead he and his friend Charlie went gallivanting around the city, spending hours at the hammam or the markets, smoking kif in the backs of cafés, always trying to enear themselves to the locals rather than to their fellow coworkers and countrymen.”

A hammam is a communal bathhouse, usually with separate baths for men and women, usually found in Islamic countries.

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2. msemmen – “I stopped at one stall, and then another, purchasing a few grams of bright green olives at one, a stack of hot, sweating msemmen at another.”

Msemmen is a rich, pancake-like bread common to Morocco, Algiers, and Tunisia.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

July 2, 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: 06.29.2018

June 29, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

B. A. Paris’s latest book, BRING ME BACK, is the story of Finn.  He’d been involved with Layla – she disappeared ten years ago – and now he’s engaged to her sister, Ellen.  Now, all of a sudden, a few people think they’ve seen Layla and a few other clues are popping up that make Finn wonder if she’s still alive.  Is it really Layla or is someone playing games with Finn?

I was excited to pick this book up because I met Paris shortly after she finished it.  I’ve read all of her work and, I’m sad to say, this one was my least favorite.  For me, it didn’t have the tension of her earlier work and it began to feel repetitive after a while.  I did enjoy it but I didn’t love it the way I loved BEHIND CLOSED DOORS.   I still plan to read whatever she writes next.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)

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AL CAPONE THROWS ME A CURVE is the latest book in the Tales from Alcatraz series by Gennifer Choldenko and I absolutely loved it.  Soon to be 9th grader Moose Flanagan lives with his family on Alcatraz because his father is the assistant warden at the prison.  Moose loves baseball and will do just about anything to be on the high school team next year but when the captain of the team demands something from Alcatraz, Moose isn’t sure he can deliver.

Moose also helps watch out for his older sister Natalie who has special needs while trying to dodge Piper, the warden’s daughter, who’s always stirring up trouble.  When Piper befriends Natalie things get out of control and it’s up to Moose to set things right.

I adored Moose – he’s kind, considerate, and thoughtful, yet all boy.  The Alcatraz setting was unique and I appreciated the map in the front and the author’s note in the back which explained that families did actually live there when it was a prison.   I thought the action packed plot was terrific too – I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough at times.  This is the first book I’ve read in the series and it stands alone just fine.  I loved it so much, though, I want to go back and read the others.  Oh, did I mention that I cried at the end?  I recommend this book to everyone from middle school on up!  (Review copy provided by Random House Children’s Books.)

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ASTRONAUT – AQUANAUT: HOW SPACE SCIENCE AND SEA SCIENCE INTERACT by Jennifer Swanson highlights the similarities as well as the differences in space and sea exploration.  Readers learn about things like gravity and pressure and other challenges that astronauts and aquanauts face in their quest for knowledge.  Swanson evens delves into why we explore and what we’ve learned so far as she explains the importance of space and sea discovery.  I had no idea that not only is there a Space Station, there’s an underwater station named Aquarius – each has it’s own unique challenges.  Young readers learn about real life astronauts and aquanauts and see what it takes to become one.  True to National Geographic form, this terrific book is printed on high quality paper and features full color photos and illustrations as well as a few experiments to try at home.  Pick this book up for curious young readers – it belongs in libraries as well.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

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GHOSTBUSTER’S DAUGHTER : LIFE WITH MY DAD, HAROLD RAMIS by Violet Ramis Stiel is a memoir of what it was like to grow up the daughter of a comedy icon.  Before listening to this book, I had no idea just how many classic comedy movies Ramis was involved in, including Animal House, Caddyshack, Groundhog Day, and, of course, Ghostbusters.  Not all of his movies were well received by critics but most of them have stood the test of time.  Ramis’s comedy has roots in Chicago’s Second City.  Stiel’s parents had an unconventional marriage and, even after their divorce, she seemed to be closer to her fun-loving dad.  She was able to visit him on set and knew many of his friends and co-workers.  I liked this book but can’t say that I loved it.  I wanted more about Ramis and less about Stiel even though she couldn’t tell his story without including her own.  The audio version is narrated by the author and she does an okay job – I felt her delivery was a little flat so it took me quite a while to adjust to it.  I would still recommend the book for fans of Ramis.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I went to Cars & Coffee with Carl.  He looks forward to it every month.
  • Carl visited his dad so I worked extra this week.
  • I can’t believe the year is half over and I’ve read 82 books so far.  I doubt I’ll be able to keep up that pace for the rest of the year.
  • I walked at least three miles a day and averaged just over 17,800 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 27, 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!

Both of these words are from CROSS FIRE by James Patterson.

1. Sigillu – “He showed Cross his sweet little encrypted Sigillu, fresh off the line.”

I had to dig around a little while to find anything on this and, from what I can tell, Sigillu is encryption software sometimes used on cell phones.

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2. linguica – “When I came back, my own plate was waiting for me — scrambled eggs with linguica, wheat toast, orange juice, and a steaming cup of Nana’s chicory coffee in my old favorite #1 Dad mug with the dent where Ali had thrown it against the wall.”

Linguica is a smoke cured pork sausage in Portuguese-speaking countries..

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

June 25, 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

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 06.22.2018

June 22, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Of all of James Patterson‘s characters, Alex Cross is my favorite.  It’s been a while since I’ve read an Alex Cross book so I picked up CROSS FIRE, expecting it to be a fast paced read.  In this book, Kyle Craig is back and he wants revenge against Alex.  There’s also a sniper on the loose, targeting high profile political people.  Alex has to protect his family from Craig, hunt for the sniper, and plan his wedding to Bree.  As always with a Patterson book, this one was a quick read with short, tension filled chapters, but I wasn’t completely satisfied with it.  I didn’t quite buy the way the sniper case was solved and I felt the ending was rushed.  There were also a few loose threads (like the return of Alex’s ex-fiancé Christine) that seemed to be thrown into the mix for no reason.  As you can tell, I didn’t love this book, but I liked it well enough.  (Review copy provided by Little, Brown.)

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I WANNA BE A COWGIRL by Angela DiTerlizzi is an adorable picture book about a little girl with a big imagination.  She puts on her boots, spurs, and hats and heads out to become a cowgirl on her stick pony.  She loves her adventures so much she dreams that she’s a cowgirl.  Told in rhyming verse from the young girl’s point of view, this book totally charmed me.  Elizabet Vukovic‘s illustrations are delightful and add just the right touch of whimsy.  You’ll want to pick this up for the early readers in your life.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

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Originally published in 1945, THE EGG AND I by Betty MacDonald is the story of a newly married woman living on a chicken farm in Washington.  I was excited to read this book because I loved MacDonald’s Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books when I was a child.  I’m sad to say that, for me, this book did not stand the test of time.  MacDonald’s racist attitudes toward Native Americans and her husband’s demands of her when it came to housework, etc grated on me after a while.  I was surprised to learn that the characters of Ma and Pa Kettle originated from this book.  Heather Henderson does a fine job narrating the audio version of this one but it wasn’t enough to save the book for me. (I won this book from A Bookworm’s World and Audio Publishers Association .)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Not much of anything.

Off the blog

  • I went with Vance to the opening of a beautiful new brewery in our area.

  • I’ve made some progress on my current puzzle but still have a long way to go.
  • We walked at least three miles every morning and I averaged just over 17,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

June 20, 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 THAT KIND OF MOTHER by Rumaan Alam.

1. gormless – “The formless gormless woman returned, another woman with her.”

Gormless is most commonly used in British English and means lacking intelligence; stupid.

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2. kouros – “She thought that under that T-shirt and jeans Tyler would be a kouros, hairless, flawless, for the time being, anyway.”

A kouros is an ancient Greek statue of a nude male youth standing with the left leg forward and arms at the sides.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?