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Mailbox Monday

April 24, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 04.21.2017

April 21, 2017

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

DRAW-IT-YOURSELF ADVENTURES: ALIEN ATTACK by Andrew Judge and Chris Judge is such a fun book for early middle grade readers!  It’s a choose your own adventure style book that encourages readers to draw, color, and even tear pages of the book.  (I wouldn’t be able to do the last one.)  It’s the story of Daisy Doodle, a young girl who helps an alien repair his spaceship.  She returns to his planet with him and ends up in the zoo there!  Will she be able to escape and return to her home planet?  My only complaint with the book is that it doesn’t lie flat but I had an advanced copy and the finished copy might be bound differently.  This engaging book is perfect for reluctant readers, young artists, and avid readers.  (Review copy provided by LB Kids.)

It’s been a while since I read DARKTOWN by Thomas Mullen but I didn’t really know what to say about it so I procrastinated writing anything.  DARKTOWN is the fictionalized account of the integration of the Atlanta Police Department in the 1940s.  Black officers were hired but were given no power.  When two of them see a white man hit a telephone pole and notice the black woman in has been beaten, they can’t let it go, especially when she turns up dead a few days later.  This sounded like just the kind of book I love – it tackled social issues in a historical context in a setting I’m familiar with – but something about it didn’t click with me.  There were a lot of characters and most of them weren’t developed that well and the mystery seemed a little weak so I ended up liking the book instead of loving it the way I thought I would.  This book is getting a lot of praise, though, so you should try it if it sounds like something you’d like.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

LUCKY BROKEN GIRL by Ruth Behar is the somewhat autobiographical story of a year the author spent in a body cast after being injured in a car accident.  Ruthie and her family had recently immigrated from Cuba to Queens and were still adjusting to life in their new country when she was hurt so badly.  Her recovery was aided by a diverse, eclectic group of friends and neighbors who came to visit and share with her.  I was completely charmed by Ruthie and her family and found the story to be warm and engaging.  The audio version is narrated by the author.  She does a terrific job of enunciating each word clearly but did have an odd inflection as she read.  I did adjust to it after a while, though, and ended up thoroughly enjoying this book.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

This week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars was Disney Week.  My mom loved it but it really felt like Disney self promotion to me.  I wasn’t crazy about Monday’s show.  I felt like a lot of the music was poorly suited to the dances the couples were assigned to perform.  Having said that, I thought Nancy and Artem did a great job with their dance.  I wasn’t unhappy to see Erika leave but thought she danced well too.

 

Off the blog

  • I played trivia with a few friends and we came in second.

  • Friends gave us a Christmas cactus when we moved in this house almost 10 years ago and it’s bloomed faithfully ever since.  Last year and again this year, we’ve had an errant bloom in the spring.
  • We walked 3 miles every morning and I averaged almost 17,000 Fitbit steps a day.
  • Vance is in Virginia so I’ve been working extra hours this week.

How was your week?

Wondrous Words Wednesday

April 19, 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 one new word in ANIMAL PLANET BABY ANIMALS by Dorothea DePrisco even though the book is geared to 8 to 12 year olds.

1. tymbal – “Tymbals on the belly vibrate, making sounds to communicate with others.”

A tymbal (or timbal) is a membrane that forms part of the sound-producing organ in various insects, as the cicada.  It can also mean a kettledrum.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

April 17, 2017

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Monday

Tuesday

Thursday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?

We Remember

April 16, 2017

Even though it’s Easter and a day of celebration for many, I couldn’t let the day pass without remembering the victims of the shootings at Virginia Tech ten years ago today.  It’s a day I’ll never forget and I hope others won’t either.  I wish we would learn from these tragedies so we could prevent this kind of heartbreak in the future.  Lest we forget, the 32 who lost their lives that day are:

The Week in Review: 04.14.2017

April 14, 2017
tags: ,

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

CATSTRONAUTS: RACE TO MARS by Drew Brockington is the second book in the Catstronauts series and I think it’s even more fun than the first one.  The Castronauts are being lauded for their mission to the moon when they learn that several other space agencies are planning a mission to Mars.  They don’t want to be outdone and rush to prepare their mission.  All the agencies are determined to be first and launch at close to the same time.  When disaster strikes, they figure out, by working together, they can all achieve their goal.  The illustrations in this book are cute and the message is great.  It’s not necessary to read the first book, CATSTRONAUTS: MISSION MOON but I think young readers will enjoy this book more if they have.  (Review copy provided by LB Kids.)

WALKING ON TRAMPOLINES by Frances Whiting is a slow, meandering story of friendship.  When Annabelle and her quirky family moves to town, Annabelle and Tallulah (Lulu) became inseparable – the two best friends even share a sort of language they make up.  Their friendship suffers a horrible blow, though, when Lulu betrays her best friend.  Lulu feels guilt and regret and wonders if anything can every repair the rift created by her actions.  The book is told in the third person from Lulu’s point of view so it’s almost a character study of her.  I really enjoyed the story but think it could have been a little shorter.  I do think it would be great for book clubs  – my copy of the book has discussion questions and an interview with the author in the back.  (Review copy provided by Simon & Schuster.)

If any of the children in your life are animal lovers, you need to pick up ANIMAL PLANET BABY ANIMALS by Dorothea DePrisco for them.  This edition of the Animal Bites series is loaded with beautiful, full-color photos that will make you say “Aww.”   Young readers will learn that some animals can walk and hunt for food from birth while others need to learn from their parents.  They’ll also discover that some animals are born live and others hatch from eggs.  Differences between babies and their parents are also explored.  The back of this wonderful book includes activities, resources, and a glossary.  In case you can’t tell, I loved this book and know early readers will too.   (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

 

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

I really enjoyed this week’s episode of Dancing with the Stars and thought most of the celebrities danced well.  I’ve been impressed with Mr. T’s humility and attitude but do think it was time for him to go.  My favorites of the night were Nancy and Artem, Normani and Val, and Rashad and Emma.  Rashad remains my favorite of the season.

I dare anyone to see The Zookeeper’s Wife without shedding a few tears.  The movie is based on the nonfiction book of the same name by Diane Ackerman about Antonina and Jan Zabinski who owned the Warsaw Zoo during World War II.  When the German army invaded their city and rounded up Jews to live in the ghetto, they used their facilities to save hundreds of them.  Jan would bring them from the ghetto and Antonina would hide them away and take care of them.  Critics are panning the movie but both my friend and I thought it was well done.  It’s emotional and gritty at times and made me wonder if I would have been so brave.  I haven’t read the book so I can’t compare the two but I think his movie is worth seeing – just be sure to have tissues handy.

Off the blog

  • This was a tough week emotionally.  A dear friend’s sister lost her 14 year battle with cancer.
  • Our weather has been gorgeous and I think it’s here to stay this time.  I’d washed blankets, sweats, etc. and put them away earlier but had to pull them back out.  I’ve started washing them again and hope we don’t need them again until the fall.
  • We walked three miles every morning and I averaged just over 16,300 Fitbit steps a day.
  • Be sure to check out my giveaway of THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY and THE FRIENDS WE KEEP, both by Susan Mallery.

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

Mischief Bay giveaway

April 13, 2017

I’m currently reading A MILLION LITTLE THINGS, the latest book in the Mischief Bay series by Susan Mallery and am thoroughly enjoying it.  To celebrate its release, Tandem Literay is allowing me to give away the first two books of the series.  That’s right, one lucky reader will receive copies of THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY and THE FRIENDS WE KEEP as well as a Susan Mallery-branded Post-it Note Dispenser.  How fun is that?  Simply fill out the form and I’ll pick a winner on Thursday, April 20, 2017.