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Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 20, 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 found a new-to-me word in an uncorrected proof of THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker.

1. apocryphal – “Ethan asked what book I had finished, but I was pretty sure the story was apocryphal.”

Apocryphal is an adjective that means (of a story or statement) of doubtful authenticity, although widely circulated as being true.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

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Mailbox Monday

December 18, 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

Tuesday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 12.15.2017

December 15, 2017
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

Amy Tan‘s latest, WHERE THE PAST BEGINS is one of the most unique memoirs I’ve ever read.  Between stories of her childhood and her family’s past, she shares tidbits about her writing process.  Readers will learn about the music she listens to, see emails between Tan and her editor, and read some entries from her journals.  They’ll also learn about her mother’s captivating past, Tan’s sad childhood, her recovery from a brain injury, and her love of language.  Tan also includes family photos as well as a few notes throughout the book.  I found much of it fascinating and would recommend WHERE THE PAST BEGINS to fans of Tan and or/memoirs as well as to those who enjoy immigrant stories.  (Review copy provided by Ecco.)

Oh, how I loved THE SHORTEST WAY HOME by Miriam Parker!  It’s the story of Hannah, a young woman on the verge of finishing her MBA at Berkeley who, along with her boyfriend Ethan, has her life all planned out.  They’ll move to New York, start their careers, and have children that Hannah will quit work to raise.  She’s all in until she walks into a winery and realizes that the whole New York thing isn’t really her dream – it’s Ethan’s.  She decides to stay at the winery to see if she can figure out what her dream is.  This book is about relationships – family, friends, and love – as well as finding oneself.  It’s infused with wit and humor and lots of tidbits about wine and literature.  I’m not a wine drinker but reading about it in THE SHORTEST WAY HOME made me wish I were.  This book comes out in July of 2018 and I adored it so much, I’ve already pre-ordered a finished copy.  I think it’s perfect for book clubs and I hope I can talk mine into reading it next fall.

Miriam Parker is one of the first publishing people I met after starting my blog.  She was living in Blacksburg at the time and Vance was a student at Virginia Tech so I would try to squeeze in a few minutes with her whenever we visited Vance.  She’s moved since then and Vance has graduated but Miriam and I still exchange the occasional email.  I don’t think knowing her influenced my opinion of the book – as a matter of fact, I think I read it more critically, especially at the beginning, because of it.  Order a copy of this book or get your library to – you won’t be disappointed! (Review copy provided by the author.)

WHY AM I ME? is a beautiful picture book by Paige Britt that poses a pretty deep question.  A young boy is with his father and a young girl is with her mother and they’re both wondering why they’re them and not someone else.  The two meet at the end.  I think this is a question many young children have wondered – I remember having thoughts like that myself when I was a child – but I didn’t feel like the book added anything thought provoking to the discussion.  I do think the illustrations by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko are outstanding and children and parents should enjoy looking at them.  (Review copy provided by Scholastic.)

Currently reading:

On the Screen

Vance and I went to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.  It’s a quirky, dark comedy about a woman seeking answers about her daughter’s murder.  When she doesn’t hear from the police in 7 months, she takes matters into her own hands and pays for billboards on the edge of town.  They reveal the ugly side of their small town so some people approve of her actions while others don’t.  The acting was terrific in this well cast movie and there were enough twists and turns to keep me glued to my seat the whole time.  There was lots of language and there were a few scenes that made me squeamish so this movie isn’t for everyone.

Off the blog

  • We did get snow last Friday and Saturday but, luckily, very little stuck so it didn’t cause any issues.  It’s been cold since then – some nights have been in the 20s, which is very rare for us in December.
  • I finished our Christmas cards and am pretty much done with the gift shopping.  Now I have to plan a few meals and shop for them.
  • My book club met Tuesday.  We don’t read a book in December; instead we socialize and have a “Dirty Santa” book swap.  A few of the books – THE LAST BALLAD by Wiley Cash, VERY VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani, and THE LAST CASTLE by Denise Kiernan – were so popular we decided to read them next year.
  • We walked three miles every morning (even when it was in the 20s) and I averaged almost 19,500 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

December 13, 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!

My words this week are from WHERE THE PAST BEGINS by Amy Tan.

1. eidolon – “Eidolon — the companion at the desk, my spirit-image, like an old pair of pajamas I will change into when life is done, when I will see at last the original writing that I changed, scratching over it millions of words to dig for the original meaning.”

An eidolon is a phantom or apparition.

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2. pedant – “I did not know either of them, but thought the guy on the left was a pedant.”

I feel like I should have known this word but wasn’t sure what Tan was trying to say about the guy on the left so I decided to look it up.  Pedant means a person who is excessively concerned with minor details and rules or with displaying academic learning.

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3. dative – “They are merging with a more utilitarian grammar-lite language, in which datives and locatives are the here and now of when a message was sent and not when it was received.”

Dative is an adjective that means denoting a case of nouns and pronouns, and words in grammatical agreement with them, indicating an indirect object or recipient.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

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?

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?