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Mailbox Monday

March 19, 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:

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 03.16.2018

March 16, 2018

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

I know several people (like Mary and Lloyd) who sing the praises of Sally Hepworth‘s writing so I don’t know why it took me so long to read one of her books.  THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR caught my eye when it came out so I decided to pick it up and, boy, am I glad I did.  This book tells the story of the families who live on Pleasant Court.  They’re mostly married couples with small children and they all appear to have perfect lives.  But there are lots of secrets hidden there and it takes a new single neighbor to bring things to the surface.  The story alternates among different neighbors so the reader is privy to the secrets that are driving the characters’ behavior.  I loved everything about this book – the writing, the characters, and the storyline.  Hepworth did a magnificent job of slowly peeling the layers back, keeping me invested in the characters and their stories.  I stayed up late one night to finish THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR because I knew I couldn’t sleep until I knew how things ended.  I’m looking forward to reading Hepworth’s backlist now.  (Review copy provided by St. Martin’s Press.)

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Adventures in Science THE HUMAN BODY makes learning fun.  This interactive kit includes a 40 page book, a skeleton model, 20 fact cards, and a poster with stickers to place on it.  Kids can read the book then build the model, place the stickers on the poster, and go through the fact cards to reinforce what they’ve learned.  The information in the book is accessible and presented well with full color photos and illustrations.   I enjoyed the book and even learned a thing or two, like:

Muscles make up about one third of your body’s weight.

Although the human body has billions of platelets, they’re so small that they wouldn’t even fill two teaspoons!

This kit will appeal to both avid and reluctant readers and is sure to spark an interest in science and the human body.  I recommend this fun kit to young readers aged six and up.  (Review copy provided by Media Masters Publicity.)

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S.T.A.G.S. by M. A. Bennett is the story of Greer MacDonald, a scholarship student at St. Aidan the Great boarding school, a school that’s ruled by a group of students referred to as The Medievals.  Greer is a good student but she’s having trouble making friends and fitting in.  She’s thrilled when The Medievals invite her for a weekend of “huntin’ fishin’ shootin'” on their handsome leader’s family’s estate.  The weekend starts out like a dream but quickly turns into a nightmare when Greer realizes just what they’re “huntin’ fishin’ shootin'”.  I love boarding school stories and wasn’t disappointed with this well constructed tale.  I loved Greer – she’s a great, sympathetic character – and the tension and build-up in the plot made me anxious to get back to the book.  I decided to listen to S.T.A.G.S. even though my track record with British narrators isn’t great but loved Katharine McEwan’s performance of this book – she was Greer to me.  I thought this book was terrific and recommend it to teens on up.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

 

Currently reading:

On the Screen

I kind of watched the ACC Basketball Championship game.  Since it was between Virginia and North Carolina, I wasn’t really invested in the game and glanced at it while I did other things.  I have to admit, I was kind of rooting for North Carolina (only because they’re not Virginia) so I was a little disappointed in the outcome.

Off the blog

  • I started a new puzzle – this one’s particularly tough because most of the pieces fit together whether they actually go together or not.
  • I walked at least three miles every morning (even in the drizzle a few days) and averaged almost 18,000 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 14, 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!

This week’s word is from THE FAMILY NEXT DOOR by Sally Hepworth.

1. bitumen – “On the road above, the cars swished by on the damp bitumen.”

I could figure this one out from the context but the word was new to me so I thought I’d look it up.  Bitumen is a black viscous mixture of hydrocarbons obtained naturally or as a residue from petroleum distillation. It is used for road surfacing and roofing.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

March 12, 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:

Monday

Tuesday

 

What did you find in your mailbox?

The Week in Review: 03.09.2018

March 9, 2018
tags:

the-week-in-review

Between the Covers

Finished last week:

If you know a curious middle schooler, you’ll want to grab a copy of Time for Kids BIG BOOK OF WHY: 1,001 FACTS KIDS WANT TO KNOW for them.  This great book features high quality photographs and features categories like Animals, Earth, History, and Technology so there’s something to interest everyone.  The material is presented in an attractive question-and-answer manner that draws readers in and teaches in a subtle manner.  You could easily dip in and out of this book but I don’t know why you’d want to.  Even though I’m way past the target age, I did learn some things as I read BIG BOOK OF WHY.  I did notice that it didn’t actually answer the question it asked a time or two, but that’s okay, because it presents lots of great materials.  This would be a fun book to share with the whole family!  (Review copy provided by Blue Slip Media.)

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When my friend Julie (Booking Mama) recommends a book, I take notice so when she said THE FORCE by Don Winslow was one of her favorites of 2017, I picked it up immediately.  THE FORCE is the story of Denny Malone and the special force he’s in charge of – a special unit that’s in place to fight gangs, drugs, and violence in New York City’s Manhattan North.  When they score a huge heroin bust, they skim a little off the top for themselves.  Things are good, though – they’ve got a handle on their district and their families are taken care of – until the feds get wind of things and come to Malone for information.

I found THE FORCE compelling and disturbing.  It’s rough and gritty but I couldn’t put it down.  I thought the characters were fantastic and the storyline was addictive.  It was hard to keep track of who was corrupt and who wasn’t.  There’s a lot of language in this book but it’s appropriate in the context.  If you enjoy mysteries, thrillers, and/or police procedurals, this is a must read!  (Review copy provided by Harper Collins.)

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LAYOVER by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer is a fun book for teens.  It’s the story of step-siblings Flynn and Amos – the two have feelings for each other but they’re not sure what to do about it.  The two of them, along with their stepsister Poppy, are on their way to meet their parents in Bora Bora when Poppy informs them that their parents are taking them on the trip to break the news of their impending divorce.  They decide they don’t want to face the drama so they explore LA rather than catch their connecting flight.  The trio have quite the adventure and learn a lot about themselves and each other while the fun lasts.  The story alternates between Flynn’, Amos’s, and Poppy’s points of view, giving readers a fuller picture of their relationship.  I thought the story was fun and the characters were appealing.  There’s just enough drama to keep readers invested so I think it will hold a lot of appeal for teen readers, especially girls.  The audio version is very capably narrated by Phoebe Strole, Michael Crouch, and Cassandra Morris.  (Review copy provided by Penguin Random House.)

Currently reading:

 

On the Screen

I watched the second half of Virginia Tech’s ACC Tournament game and what a disappointment it was.  Tech had a 21 point lead early in the half and ended up losing by 6 points.

Off the blog

  • Happy birthday to my dear OLDER sister, Karen!
  • I spent the first part of the week at my mom’s, getting her taxes done.
  • Vance left the day I got back so I’m working extra hours now.
  • I walked three miles a day when I was at home and averaged just under 12,000 Fitbit steps a day.

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

Wondrous Words Wednesday

March 7, 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!

This word came from a kids’ book – Time For Kids BIG BOOK OF WHY.

1. rheum – “The official name is rheum (pronounced “room”).”

This is actually explained in the book but I wasn’t familiar with it so I thought I’d share it here:

Some people call them eye boogers, gunk, sand, or sleep.  Whatever the term, that’s the crusty stuff that gathers in the corners of our eyes, especially after sleeping.

The official definition of rheum is a watery fluid that collects in or drips from the nose or eyes.

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What words do you want to celebrate today?

Mailbox Monday

March 5, 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

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

What did you find in your mailbox?