Thursday, April 20, 2017

I May Have A Problem

So I have a bit of an addiction.... to books. If I go into the library or a bookstore, I have a VERY hard time not getting one for me. One is a problem for my wallet and one is a problem for my watch. This week I did so good! We went the library 3 times, once for books, once for the book Lily swore she didn't want from trip 1, and for story time. I did not get books the first two times. I turned in a library book last Friday and went almost a whole week without getting a new one. It was pretty revolutionary to my reading schedule. I don't have to read to get it done "on time." I actually own the books on my bookshelf and therefore can take as long as I want to actually read them.

Crazy talk, right?

So I took 2 or 3 days each to read the Christopher Pike and R.L. Stine books I found at my new favorite place in town, The Book Exchange, It was a great trip down memory lane to read some 90's YA. Other benefits of reading from my own shelves, less stress because there is no timetable, getting more books from the TBA shelf to the Read shelf, and making good use of the money I spend on books.

So I felt really good about myself.

Then I went to the library today. I didn't go the adult shelves. I was doing so well. I sat down in a chair by the kids play area and computers. I watch the kids play, then I turned my head to the Juvenile shelf. I was reading titles. I wasn't planning on getting a book. I just wanted to know what titles were there. And then I saw a book from my TBR list.

The League of Seven by Alan Gratz
It is in the Juvenile section, so it will be an easy read, so that should mean it is quick. And even though I started another book from my shelves and I really like it. I can fit this one in too, right? So of course I checked it out. And it is as good as I have heard!

The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald
Then again, I got this one because of all the good things I had heard about it and I couldn't get my kids books at the book fair and not get me something. And it is as good as I have heard. So here I am reading 2 books, one from the library and one from my shelves. And I haven't even added the second on my GoodReads currently reading list yet. I have 2 books that I'm reading so slowly that it basically doesn't count. So I don't want to admit that I have 5 books going at the same time. But I kind of do.

I think I may have a problem.

What's a book nerd to do?

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Lily's Favorites

This week I thought I would turn my blog over to Lily. I considered letting her type this all out, but her typing skills aren't great. (I mean, she is only 3.) So I will just tell you what her favorite books are.

We go to the library about once a week. She picks out something generally with a character she likes. I then search though and try to find books that will teach her something about the world. It is always a shot in the dark though. Some are amazing, some are good, and some are okay. Every so often I get lucky and we find a great book that Lily loves. These are those books:

Nanette's Baguette by Mo Willems

28963877

Panda Pants by Jacqueline Davies
28250908

Lily can read these two to herself because she has heard them so often she has memorized them.

If You Ever Want To Bring a Piano to the Beach, Don't by Elise Parsley
26245095
I heard about this one from the Professional Book Nerds.

Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora
1372657
I was surprised that she liked this one, but it is an inspirational true story for kids. Plus I got to share some Spanish with her.

Dear Yeti by James Kwan
23310710
We like to read this one with her stuffed Yeti.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Book Review: Relics 3 by Nick Thacker

I have previously reviewed Relics 1 and Relics 2, so getting to book 3 was the wrap up for these characters. I wanted to know what happened to these people and the system. Unfortunately, I have been so busy I could not just sit down and read without interruption. That was a bit frustrating. So be aware that you will want to start and not stop until your done.

Relics: Three (Relics Singularity Series Book 3)Relics: Three by Nick Thacker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The one negative I have is that the books came out a bit spaced apart and made it difficult for me to accurately remember all the characters. However, each character did have a unique voice and I mostly remembered their back story from previous books. For you the new reader, the solution is simple, get all 3 books at one time and read them all together.

Now the stuff I liked about the book, the ending. Seriously the last line of the book is one of my favorite ever. It ranks up there with the last line of 1984 and the last lines of A Farewell to Arms. You need to read the entire series just to get to the last line and let it hit you like a semi-truck. Oh my gosh that ending!!!

I liked that there was action without being over the top. I liked that there was some character development. I liked that the System was shown to be flawed and beatable. It was not this hulking unstoppable thing that magically got beaten. It had a flaw that was exploited by those who would know and see it. Not everyone would see it, but those who know saw it and exploited it. It didn't end with massive explosions or crazy things. It quietly ended and therefore the last line had a humongous impact.

So pick up book 1 today, read it all together, and wallow around in the genius of the last line


View all my reviews


Did I mention that ending?! I'm so in love.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Am I Passing On A Love of Reading?

I have been trying to take books off our shelves to read to the kids almost every night since the beginning of the year. Lily and I are slowly reading through Heidi. She seems to enjoy it. I had been reading a book with Ben. It seemed like a great book to read with boys, but I haven't enjoyed it. It is dense and the tone is darker than I want to read with Ben. But I kept slogging through.

Monday I listened to a podcast. The idea of being formed by the stories you read and being able to share these things with your kids resonated deep inside me. I know the power of story deep inside me, but I'm not sure I'm sharing that with kids up to the standard in my head.

Sally mentioned the book A Wrinkle in Time and how much it meant to her. That book is on our shelves and I fell in love with it in 7th grade. So I made the decision to abandon the book that was dense and dark for a book that is imaginative and hopeful. I told Ben that I wanted to pick another book because that one had too many facts and not enough story. He went along with it and didn't seem to have much of an opinion.

A Wrinkle in Time
We started reading it last night. He curled up beside me and put his head on my arm as I read. He has asked me about the characters to get them straight. He is excited to meet Mrs. Whatsit. He is also talking about new drawing projects. I don't know that the book inspired that, but it is encouraging. Maybe I'm doing pretty okay after all.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cozy Mysteries

I am obsessed with cozy mysteries. In case you don't know, this is a definition of cozy mysteries from Wikipedia.

"Cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed or treated humorously, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. The term was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction.[1]"

"Cozy mystery" Wikipedia

My Grandma Ann raised me on Murder, She Wrote. I am still in love with Jessica Fletcher. Lily and I watch Jessica Fletcher often as well. (Until it went off of Netflix.) Then I discovered that there are Murder, She Wrote books. In a bargain section, I came across Death of the Chimney Sweep by M.C. Beaton. From here I learned about cozy mysteries. I love the mystery part and the lack of violence and sex in the stories. There are times when I have read too many of them and the tropes of the genre get on my nerves. I move away from them for a couple books and then I'm ready for more. Thankfully there are no shortage of cozies to enjoy. So I'll share with you some of the series I enjoy besides Murder, She Wrote and M.C. Beaton.

The Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs

Charleston, South Carolina is becoming a favorite setting and Theodosia is teaching me, so much about tea.








My current Tea Shop Mystery


Coffeehouse Mystery Series by Cleo Coyle
New York City makes for an interesting group of characters and again I'm learning. This time about coffee.












Josie Prescott Antiques by Jane C. Cleland
The setting of New Hampshire provides some great mind pictures from the descriptions she gives. I also love hearing how Josie runs her business and tells us about antiques.












The following I have only read one in the series, but I liked the one.

Key West Food Critic by Lucy Burdette

Key West and Food? Need I say more?













The Lighthouse Library Mystery Series by Eva Gates

The Outer Banks, a library, and books? Yes please!












Tradd Street by Karen White
Charleston and some ghosts. That's an interesting twist













A few more that I have read and didn't talk about above: Being a Jane Austen Mystery by Stephanie Barron, Irene Seligman by Paula Paul, Chief Inspector Gamache by Louise Penny, Java Jive by Caroline Fardig

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reading Together

My son likes books. He likes to have books. He doesn't read them as often as he just collects them. So it is a pretty common "discussion" in our house of how many pages he should read and when he should read.

Yesterday I tired a new thing. I got my book that I am reading and we had a contest to see who could finish the chapter first. He liked it. He read without complaining to where I told him to read. AND I got to read as well. So while we are each reading our own individual book, we are doing something together. I like this and he likes this. So yay for everyone.

The books we are reading:

Scarlet (Scarlet, #1) One of the books recommended to me from Professional Book Nerds podcast. Goodreads link.

Junie B., First Grader: Jingle Bells, Batman Smells! (P.S. So Does May.) (Junie B. Jones, #25)  The second time Ben has gotten this one from the school library. I think he is going to finish it this time. Goodreads link

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why I Love the Library

I missed last week and almost missed this week, but I have had a post in my head for a few days. So I had to get it out.

Photo Credit: Texas State Library and Archives Commission 


Last Saturday I went to the library with my daughter. She loves to play with the blocks and the computers. There are a couple book shelves she visits, but a whole lot more that she avoids. She doesn't know the books on them, so she just doesn't even look at them. I can't blame her. The children's shelves can be a bit overwhelming with the number of books on those shelves. How do you even look at all the titles? How do you know what to search for?

Well, I decided to remedy the situation. I sat down at a shelf and picked several off of one shelf to look at. I was so pleased to see the range of people represented in the few books I chose. I pick up a book from my local library and my daughter can learn about people very different from her. The library is her portal to multi-ethnic, multi-racial, and multi-socioeconomic learning. She has enjoyed the books so far and we have read them multiple times. She is learning about her world even if that world is far away from her. The library teaches us about people and learning about people will make us more tolerant and loving. The library makes us better people!

These are the books we got:
A Hat for Mrs. Goldman

The Last Stop on Market Street

A Castle on Viola Street

Mama's Nightingale

And just for fun:
Panda Pants