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Mailbox Monday

November 21, 2016

mailbox-monday-november-21

Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.    I got back from the beach Friday and headed straight to work.  This will be a crazy busy week for us but we’re not complaining!  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Friday to Friday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: Inspector Flytrap

November 18, 2016

inspector-flytrap

Inspector Flytrap is a Venus Flytrap who happens to be a detective.  He gets around on a skateboard pushed by his trusty sidekick, Nina the goat.  He wants to be “the greatest detective that ever grew” so he’ll only take on BIG DEAL mysteries.

INSPECTOR FLYTRAP by husband and wife duo Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell is the first book in a fun new series for early readers featuring the botanical detective.  The mysteries are silly so it will keep its target audience fully engaged.  Cece Bell’s adorable illustrations do a great job livening up the pages.  I really enjoyed this book as an adult and know I would have loved it as a kid.  It’s perfect for reluctant readers and kids who enjoy mysteries.  Here’s a peek at the interior:

 

inspector-flytrap-interior

 

The first two books in The Inspector Flytrap series are already out and the third one will be out soon so it’s a great series to get a young reader hooked on.  Be sure to check it out for the young readers in your life.
kid 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 Amulet Books. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Review: Leave Me

November 17, 2016

leave-me

Maribeth Klein is a busy working wife and mother of four-year old twins.  She’s tired and nauseated and feels like she can’t go on so she heads to the doctor’s office and learns she’s having a heart attack.  A few tests determine that she needs surgery and that turns out to be more complicated than it should have been.   She’s released from the hospital and given instructions to rest and eat healthy which she finds impossible to do because no one – not her husband nor her mother – is stepping in to pick up the slack.  Fed up, Maribeth withdraws a sizable amount of money from the bank and hits the road with no real plan of action.

Maribeth takes on a new identity and makes a new life for herself in Pittsburgh – she makes friends, finds a new doctor, and searches for her birth mother in earnest.  But is this the life she wants to live?

I was intrigued by LEAVE ME by Gayle Forman after reading Jill’s review of the book.   I left her a comment and she emailed me telling me that the reviews for the book are all over the place because a lot of people are offended by Maribeth’s actions.  That made me even more curious so I decided to pick the book up and I’m glad I did.  The book is not without faults – I thought the ending was a little too neat – but I really enjoyed my time with it.

Maribeth is a character that many women will be able to relate to.  She’s frazzled because she’s overworked and underappreciated.  She can’t even get a break to recover from surgery.  Of course, most women don’t react the way she does but I’m sure many have been tempted.

I liked the storyline and the other characters Maribeth encountered as well.  There were a few little twists but it wasn’t hard to see which way the story was going to go.  The journey was so intriguing, though, that didn’t bother me in the least.  I found myself wanting to talk about LEAVE ME as I read it so I think it would make a fabulous book club choice.

The audio version of LEAVE ME is narrated by Eva Kaminsky and I thought she did a terrific job.  It was a great way to experience this thought provoking book.

I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Wondrous Words Wednesday

November 16, 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 haven’t been finding a lot of words in my reading lately but I did find one word in THE GIRL WHO SLEPT WITH GOD by Val Brelinski.

1. geosmin – “Outside, it had finally stopped raining, but the dusky air was still damp and heavy with the odor of something her father called geosmin, but which always reminded Jory of the smell of an Indian head nickel collection she kept in a leather coin purse. ”

According to Wikipedia, “geosmin is an organic compound with a distinct earthy flavor and aroma produced by a type of Actinobacteria, and is responsible for the earthy taste of beets. . .”  Now I know why beets taste like dirt!

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Review: The Life We Bury

November 15, 2016

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College student Joe Talbert has to write a biography of an old person for his English class.  Joe comes from a dysfunctional family and doesn’t know any old people so he heads to the local nursing home to find someone to interview.  The nursing home is reluctant to help him at first but finally agrees to allow him to speak with Carl, a convicted murderer who has been medically paroled because he’s dying.

Joe’s also dealing with family issues and has to bring his autistic brother, Jeremy, to his apartment when his mother is arrested.  Jeremy helps break the ice with Joe’s neighbor Lila, something Joe’s been unable to do.

As Joe learns more about Carl and his background, he can’t imagine him committing the vicious crime he was convicted of.  He decides to dig a little deeper and, with the help of Lila, discovers some things the police overlooked.  Can he and Lila unearth the truth before it’s too late?

I’ve had THE LIFE WE BURY by Allen Eskens for a while but set it aside when it was getting so much buzz because I was afraid it wouldn’t live up to the hype.  When my book club selected it to read in October, I finally picked it up and, boy, am I glad I did!

Both Joe and Lila are damaged characters and I found them both very appealing.  In fact, I want more of them and am hoping Eskens will write a follow up featuring the two of them.  I loved their interaction and thought they made a great team.

I thought the storyline of THE LIFE WE BURY was strong and very compelling.  There’s a lot of action and tension so I found myself turning the pages as fast as I could.  I had a hunch about the ending fairly early on but was never quite sure until I was almost done so it didn’t bother me.

I thought THE LIFE WE BURY was terrific and all but one member of my book club agreed with me.  We didn’t find a lot to discuss because we all pretty much felt the same way.  We were all glad we read the book, though, and agreed we’d happily read Eskens’ work again.

My friend Julie sent me this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

Mailbox Monday

November 14, 2016

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Welcome to Mailbox Monday, a meme started by Marcia and now hosted on its own blog.    I’m at the beach with my mom and sister so won’t be around much this week.  I found these goodies in my mailbox last week:

Tuesday

  • THE THING WITH FEATHERS by McCall Hoyle came from Blink
  • The Jungle Book DVD was a win from Beth Fish Reads

What did you find in your mailbox last week?

Review: My First Book of Hockey

November 11, 2016

my-first-book-of-hockey

If you know a young reader who’s a sports enthusiast, you must pick up MY FIRST BOOK OF HOCKEY, a title from Sports Illustrated Kids and Time Inc, Books.  Youth hockey is becoming more popular, even here in the south – these days over half a million kids play organized hockey in the US.  Vance has been a fan of hockey for as long as I can remember so I wish this book had been out when he was young – as much for me as for him.

MY FIRST BOOK OF HOCKEY teaches the basics of ice hockey, using photographs from real NHL players.  The photos are large, vibrant and visually appealing.  A small cartoon hockey player adds some humor that kids will love to most pages.  This book is aimed at the 3 to 8 year old set – those in the younger range will enjoy sharing the book with an adult while the older kids can easily read it themselves.  I love that the book includes basic rules and terms of hockey as well as some of the hand signals the refs use.  If you know any sports loving early readers, be sure to check this book out!

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 Blue Slip Media.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.