Friday, August 11, 2017

Thrillers Worth Reading

I normally don't read thrillers for a few reasons. I don't feel like I'm reading them fast enough. So sometimes I skip parts or skim sections to read faster. I don't like some of the tropes, like unreliable narrator due to addiction or mental illness. And sometimes the story is just too far fetched. I know it is ironic that someone who LOVES cozies thinks thrillers are too far fetched. I guess I just expect more out of those.

Even though I don't read them very often, I pick one up every so often and I like it! So here are a few thrillers that were worth my time to read them.

I Found You by Lisa Jewell
I Found You A man in London disappears on his way home and his young wife goes looking for him. A man mysteriously shows up on a beach elsewhere in the UK. But it isn't what you think. The multiple points of view worked really well. There were surprises. It was not overly graphic, which I really appreciated.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay
A Head Full of Ghosts I think this one is technically termed horror. I would say it is more like supernatural thriller. An adult woman is reliving her traumatic childhood memories of her sister's exorcism through a series of blog posts which review the TV show about the exorcism. There are definitely lots of questions about what was supernatural and what was manipulation.

Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barbar
Are You Sleeping This is another family in crisis book similar to A Head Full of Ghosts. The story is interspersed with tweets, message board comments, and transcripts from a podcast. I really liked the exterior people commenting on what is going on as the family is working through what really happened.


In The Shadow of Lakecrest by Elizabeth Blackwell
In the Shadow of Lakecrest Kate is trying to hide her less than desirable family from her new wealthy and important in laws. As her family grows, she discovers many secrets that lead to a shocking ending. As you can tell by the cover, this one is not set in modern day. It is actually set in the 1920's, I think.

Do you have any thrillers that you have really enjoyed?



Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Multi-cultural kids books

When I get books from the library for Lily, I always make sure to get at least one book with characters that look different than her. These are some of her favorites.


Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie LoAuntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic This is a story of a Chinese American family that discovered a farmer near them growing soybeans and that started a huge picnic. Lily calls the book "Mao dou (mao doe)" which is the Chinese word for soybeans.

Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida
Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl This is the story of a girl and a boy working and practicing hard and finding success at their respective schools. Lily calls this one Kunoichi, but she also uses the word shugyo, which I think is the idea of lots of practice to make yourself better.

The Water Princess by Susan Verde, Georgie Badiel, and Peter H. Reynolds (illustrator)
The Water PrincessThis is based on the childhood of Georgie Badiel in Africa. There is an information page in the book with more details. Princess Gie Gie has to walk to get water and that takes most of the day. Lily likes Princess Gie Gie, but doesn't yet understand that this still happens today. It did offer an opportunity for discussion.

Momma, Where Are You From? by Marie Bradby and Chris K. Soentpiet
Momma, Where Are You From?This is Momma's story of her childhood including segregation. Even though there were things she didn't understand, like segregation, there was a lot of love and happiness. So you can have a discussion about segregation and you can see that "they" are a lot like you with family, friends, fun, and love. There are also events like buying blocks of ice and heating irons on the stove. Lily calls this one Momma and says she would like to dance in the shadows like they did.

Gazpacho for Nacho by Tracey C. Kyle
Gazpacho for Nacho Nacho only likes to eat Gazpacho until Mami teaches him how to cook. There are so many Spanish words in this book! And a bit of magical realism when the vegetables they shop for are bigger than the people. The whole thing rhymes in both English and Spanish. Kids not only get to learn Spanish words, but also Spanish dishes like gazpacho and Spanish tortilla. This one is a lot of fun. Lily calls this one Nacho and loves to see the tortilla under the silla.

Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ying Hwa Hu (illustrator), Cornelius Van Wright (illustrator)

Jingle DancerJenna wants to dance at the next powwow, but doesn't have enough jingles. She finds jingles and dances for several special women in her life. The book mentions fry bread, Indian tacos, powwows, and a few other things. There is also a note that briefly discusses Jenna's heritage as Muskogee and Ojibwa. It talks a little about jingle dances. Lily likes Jenna's dress and the dance.