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Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 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!

It’s been a while since I had to rely on my Word-a-Day calendar but I had to this week.

1. billingsgate – “A steady stream of billingsgate could be heard coming from the basement after my father hit his thumb with his hammer.”

Billingsgate is a noun that means coarsely abusive language.

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2. chatoyant – “The gemologist scrutinized the unique chatoyant jewels before stating her opinion on their value.”

Chatoyant is an adjective that means having a changeable luster or color with an undulating narrow band of white light.

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3. popnip – “The white wafer sun sports a halo, and nearby hills are veiled in pogonip.” — Bill Croke, The American Spectator, March 1997

Pogonip is dense winter fog containing frozen particles that is formed in deep mountain valleys of the western United States.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

March 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:

Monday

Thursday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Jake the Fake Keeps it Real

March 25, 2017

 

 

Jake’s sister Lisa is a highly successful student at the Music and Art Academy –  a school for gifted kids – so it’s expected Jake will go there too.  He wins a spot at his audition by playing “Song for My Father” on the piano.  There’s a problem, though – it’s the only song he knows and he really doesn’t know how to read music.  When school starts in the fall, Jake wonders how he’ll make it without everyone else figuring out he’s a fake.  Something happens, though, to make him realize he just might have some talent after all.

JAKE THE FAKE KEEPS IT REAL by Craig Robinson and Adam Mansbach is so much fun!  Jake’s sister is practically perfect and excels at the Music and Art Academy.  It seems she’s good at everything.  Jake feels like he’s not good at anything and doesn’t know how he’ll follow in her footsteps.  He figures out that he should be himself instead of being like Lisa.

I think a lot of kids will relate to Jake – I know I would have when I was younger – and they’re sure to appreciate the wit and humor in this creative book.  Keith Knight‘s illustrations fit the tone of the book perfectly.  I love the message of  JAKE THE FAKE KEEPS IT REAL and I thought it was smart and funny so kids are sure to get the message.  Pick this book up for the middle grade readers in your life.

kid konnection newI 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 Penguin Random House.

The Week in Review: 03.24.2017

March 24, 2017

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

THE RULES DO NOT APPLY by Ariel Levy is the memoir of a young woman who thumbed her nose at tradition and built a happy, if somewhat unorthodox life for herself.  She takes a business trip to Mongolia while she’s pregnant and her life quickly falls apart.  She struggles with grief and other people’s reaction to it and tries to piece her life back together.  Her story is personal and raw and I was pulled in from the start.  Levy is a writer for New Yorker so I expected great writing and she delivered.  What I didn’t expect was to be so invested in and moved by her story.  The audio version is narrated by the author and I thought she did a great job of capturing the spirit of the story.  Be sure to have tissues handy when you pick this book up.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

THE HANDMAID’S TALE by Margaret Atwood is the story of Offred, a young woman living in Gilead, a society that was formed when the Sons of Jacob overturned the US government.  Since she’s young and fertile, she lives as a handmaid in the home of Commander Fred, so that she can bear a child for him and his infertile wife. The Sons of Jacob are fundamentalist Christians so the society is strict and women are treated as second class citizens.  Offred remembers her former life, though, and longs for her husband and child.  There’s a lot more to this book and I found it fascinating and disturbing.  Its reality didn’t seem all that far-fetched to me.  Claire Danes narrates the audio version – I found her delivery a little flat, but I do think that may have been intentional on her part.  THE HANDMAID’S TALE is smart and thought provoking and I do recommend it – I think it would make a great book club selection.

Animal lovers will want to pick up a copy of DOGS AND THEIR PEOPLE by BarkPost.  This book is full of entertaining and heartwarming stories from dog owners around the world.  You’ll smile, laugh, and nod in understanding as you read these fun stories.  Each story is a page long and includes an adorable color photograph that will melt your heart.  There are also a few tips including things like dog friendly vacation spots and dog treat recipes.  You’ll flip through this book time and time again just for the photos! (I won this from A Bookish Way of Life.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

One of my guilty pleasures is watching Dancing with the Stars and it started back this week.  In my opinion, the early shows – before you really get to “know” the stars – aren’t as much fun but I still watch them.  My early favorites are Rashad Jennings with Emma Slater and Heather Morris with Maks Chmerkovskiy.

A United Kingdom is based on the true story of Seretse Khama.  Khama was next in line to be Chief of his people in Bechaunaland Protectorate (what is now Botswana) and was sent to London to study.  While he was there, he fell in love with Ruth Williams, a white clerk.  The two married causing turmoil in their families, his country, and England.  They persevered and with the help of his devoted wife, Khama led his country to independence.  I learned something new from this well made movie and came home and read more about the Khamas.  I really enjoyed the movie and wish they made more like it.

Off the blog

  • Carl spent a few days at the beach with his brother so I worked at the store a little extra this week.

  • My book club met to discuss MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto.  Most people weren’t feeling it, so out of 12 of us, only 4 finished the book.  Only one person loved the book (she’s a retired social studies teacher) – the rest of us who finished it appreciated the research and the story but felt the book was just okay.
  • My friends and I played trivia this week and came in second – the first place team beat us by one point.
  • We walked three miles every morning and I averaged over 15,600 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 22, 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 first word comes from THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS by Jason Rekulak.

1. hennin – “It was called a hennin, and it looked like a giant pointy cone.”

Even though this was explained in the context of the book, I decided to look it up and I’m glad I did because I learned a little more about it.  A hennin is a high cone-shaped headdress usually with a thin veil pendent from the top worn by European women in the 15th century.

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My second word is from MIDNIGHT IN BROAD DAYLIGHT by Pamela Rotner Sakamoto.

2. catenary – “The car passed through the city center, crisscrossed by catenary wires spitting electric-blue sparks.”

Catenary is a curve formed by a wire, rope, or chain hanging freely from two points and forming a U shape.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

March 20, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.    Happy Spring!  It’s been a mild winter but I’m ready for it to be over.  I found these goodies in my mailbox:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

The Week in Review: 03.17.2017

March 17, 2017

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

the-impossible-fortressOh how I loved THE IMPOSSIBLE FORTRESS by Jason Rekulak!  It’s the story of three 14 year old friends – Billy, Alf, and Clark – who will do anything, and I do mean anything, to get a copy of the Playboy Magazine with Vanna White on the cover.  Set in 1987 and told from Billy’s point of view, this story is full of pop culture references and humor.  There’s also a little mystery, a little romance,  and just enough tension to keep the story moving at a fast clip.  I couldn’t get enough of Billy and his friends and kind of hated for the book to be over, even though I thought the ending was great.  I loved this book and highly recommend it –  I have a feeling it will be one of my favorites of the year.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

I listened to I SEE YOU by Clare Mackintosh. After women are featured in classified ads, they’re victims of violent crimes.  Zoe notices her photo in an ad and, when she realizes what’s happened to the other women, she becomes frightened and wonders about everyone person she encounters.  Can she figure out what’s going on before it’s too late?  The audio version of this book is narrated by British actress Rachel Atkins.  I probably should have quit listening as soon as I heard her accent.  I’m sure she did a fine job but I struggle with British narrators –  I’m not sure why, but I find my mind wandering when I listen to them.  I think I would have enjoyed this more in print.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

If you’re planning a trip to our nation’s capital with a young child, you’ll want to grab a copy of MY WASHINGTON, DC by Kathy Jakobsen before you go.  This book gives an overview of some of our history and features many of the sites to see in the city.  It also contains some fun facts – for instance, the Washington National Monument Society asked each state to contribute a stone and every state complied.  There are wonderful illustrations throughout the book and readers can hunt for stars, eagles and Speedy the cat.  The back of the book contains more fun facts and lists a few websites to explore.  I thought MY WASHINGTON, DC was terrific! (Review copy provided by Little, Brown.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

Not much of anything.  I was hoping to watch some basketball but didn’t see enough to make it worth mentioning.

 

Off the blog

  • We thought we were going to sneak by with very little winter this year but Mother Nature had something else in mind.  It turned cold this week – probably the coldest it’s been all winter – and we even saw a few flakes of the white stuff early Sunday morning.
  • I took and passed the exam to become a Cicerone® Certified Beer Server.
  • My friends and I played trivia this week and came in second.
  • We walked three miles every morning (even when it was 20º F) and I averaged close to 14, 250 Fitbit steps a day.