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The Deep

The Deep - Rivers Solomon
It was cover love that brought me to this book. After reading the synopsis, I knew that I had to read it. I was amazed how short this book was, yet the story had everything that I was looking for. Yetu needed to find her own life for the honor that was bestowed upon her was difficult.
She was the chosen one. Yetu was chosen to be the historian of her people. You would think, that being selected out of everyone else would be a blessing, yet to Yetu, this wasn’t. To be elected as the historian, Yetu wore this title like a weight. It dragged her down, deeper than she could handle.
As the historian, Yetu collected all the memories of the Wajinru people. Yetu’s job was to hold onto these memories so that they wouldn’t be forgotten throughout the years.
As I read about this, I thought about letting go of my own memories. Imagine, letting go of your memories, can you function? I think my day would be carefree and cold as I feel that my memories play a huge role in who I am and how I function and react each day. I wonder who I would be without my memories.
Now, think about Yetu. She carries all the memories of her people. The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. What a gift and what a burden to know so much information. Yetu knows that being a historian is too much for her but what can she do, she was chosen and she has all the memories?
Yetu is late. The time for the Remembrance has passed and the Wajinru people are restless. Yetu must perform the Remembrance for them and give them the reassurance they need but more importantly, this event will give her some peace. I was hoping that Yetu would talk to the Wajinru and explain her situation, she was in a position of power, they would listen, wouldn’t they?
I really enjoyed this novel. I became a part of Yetu’s journey as she learns more about herself and the Wajinru. I enjoyed the flow of the book and the historical aspects used within it. I am hoping there will be more of this story.
I received an advanced copy of this book from Saga Press in exchange for an honest review.


Red Zone: An Earthquake Story - Silvia Vecchini
This graphic novel addresses the issues an earthquake has on young children. Torn from their homes, these children have to deal with the issues of the unknown as their community tries to rebuild.
I liked how the novel immediately begins with some powerful action. Mother Nature begins unleashing her power upon the community, leaving its citizens left to fend for themselves. We follow Matteo, Giulia, and Federico as they learn to live with the aftermath of the destruction.
The devastation from the quake is massive. The citizens are warned not to enter the “Red Zone” but to some that zone is their life and contains everything they have. How can you tell someone to stay away from the only possessions they have? A make-shift school is immediately constructed while the community tries to rebuild. Why is it taking so long to move forward? What are they supposed to do in the meantime? Each family tries to rebuild their lives and get some structure into their lives, to the best of their ability, but it’s hard when all your possessions are in the “Red Zone.”
I really liked the idea of this graphic novel and I thought, the illustrations were fantastic. We are experiencing more weather-related catastrophes lately and having children understand them is important. The illustrations were bright, colorful and had a great flow. I liked everything about this novel but I thought it was missing a few things. I really had no connections to the characters as I had no background on them. I wished I had known something about them and/or their relationships with other individuals in the novel, so I knew exactly the emotional toll this disaster played on their lives. I know that any tragedy is hard but I felt that my character and emotional connection was not fully engaged while reading this novel. I think this is a good novel to share with children, it’s a good starting point.


Snack Attack!

Snack Attack! - Terry Border
I liked it but it didn't wow me, like I thought and hoped it would. I liked how the three snacks played together but wasn't it smart Cookie who found the note? I thought it was interesting how Cheese Doodle came up with the interesting ideas and Pretzel was the scared one. Cookie was still the smart one who kept telling Cheese Doodle how his ideas wouldn't work and then, what happens at the end? Oh, Smart Cookie....I'm sorry.
I thought it was a cute story but maybe I'm reading more into the story than I need to be. The pictures were fun and I do hope there is another book that follows this one, as I need to know what happens next.


Mrs. Everything

Mrs. Everything - Jennifer Weiner
There were times that I found myself absorbed into the lives of these two sisters, that I took a break from my own life, sat down and became a part of theirs. This book covered a lot time and the issues were staggering. They led an exciting and eventful trail as they made their way through life.
I listened to this book on audio and as I tried to go about my day, I found myself stopping to listen to it. It was no longer, just something to listen to, but something I had to hear.
The novel began when these sisters were young, their future had endless possibilities. Unfortunately, their mother thought differently, and boy, did she irritate me. Each sister tells us their story and about how each day brought new challenges and adventures into their lives.
I liked how each sister’s life was different. Between the two of them, they addressed almost every important issue that women face. I thought that this made their lives interesting. I enjoyed how the girls cared for one another even though they were so different from one another. This book is rather long and I feel that it could’ve been shorter and still effectively deliver the same message. 3.5 stars


New position

I’ve been extremely busy lately, the kind of busy where I feel like I’m overwhelmed and I’m not getting much accomplished.  I tell myself that it’ll slow down and I’ll get into a routine and I know eventually I will. I really miss sitting down and reading, concentrating on one thing and closing off the rest of the world.  I feel like i have been popping in here and trying to catch up on what everyone has been reading and the contests that are going on and then, it’s off I go again. 

I’ve started taking care of our new grandson full-time.  I haven’t found a schedule yet for all the activities I used to do during the day so now, I’m trying to cram them in at night after watching him for 10 hours. Some days, I’m exhausted. I’ve decided to give up a few things and we’ll see how things go. Now, if I could only figure out a way to get him to sleep.

The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key - Ruth Ware
I listened to this book and what surprised me the most was that I didn’t think this book was a creepy or mysterious as I thought it would be. I was hoping for a good suspenseful story to listen to but I didn’t find that. I really enjoyed the story but I didn’t find it suspenseful, it was more action-packed with a few moments of mystery thrown in.
I thought that there were some really weird things about the house and the family to start with. We didn’t even need to add Rowan to the mix. What’s up with all those cameras and the audio in all those rooms? Can you not have any privacy? What are they afraid of? Then, the technology that supposed to make living in the house easier but seems like it’s overkill. I thought the family seemed a bit off. Did anyone find it strange that the parents left the kids, with their new nanny, on an extended amount of time, immediately after they hired her?
I liked the character of Rowan as I thought her true personality came through when she needed it. I liked her determination yet she also had moments of uncertainty. I loved how the author wrote this novel. Important, unknown pieces of the story are fed to us readers throughout the novel as we follow Rowan along in her new nanny position.
I wanted more thrills and chills but in-all, it was a good read. I thought the last half of the book was really good. I’ll be looking out for Ruth’s book. 3.5 stars


Believe Like a Child

Believe Like a Child - Paige Dearth
I’m been wanting to read this book ever since I saw its cover many years ago and then, when I won a copy of it from a Goodreads Giveaway, I was excited. The book moved quickly yet it didn’t leave anything out. I hadn’t expected the hurricane of events that swept through the pages but it was the eye of the storm that walked into her life that scared me the most. That eye that looked so calm and who she thought was her answer. Her answer was actually another devil in disguise.
I knew this book would be difficult one to read based on the subject matter but there’s something about books like these that I enjoy. I feel it’s the energy these books deliver as the characters gain strength and control as the book progresses. It’s also their fight and spirit that they acquire along their journey. Alessa’s story, like our own, is unique.
As I met Alessa, my heart broke. She was still a child yet no one was looking out for her. She soon realized, she’d have to take care of herself and her own needs. This didn’t make her self-centered or hard, it made her resourceful. Not all of Alessa’s choices were great or “right” but they were what Alessa had at the time and what she knew.
I liked how the book told the story from different perspectives and how issues weren’t instantly solved. I wondered sometimes about Alessa’s choices but I’ve never walked in her shoes, so I couldn’t judge her actions. She did, what she did, so she see another day. The book moved quickly and I enjoyed that, we didn’t get blogged down in too much information about the events that were taking place. There were highs and lows throughout the book which keep the book moving along. I was not expecting that ending though. What was up with that?! As I started to read the ending, I had a feeling but I thought things would turn around but what the heck.
It’s a tough book to read but I’m so glad I got the opportunity to read it. Thank you to the author and to Goodreads for my copy of the book. This review is my opinion of the book.


Mrs. Fletcher

Mrs. Fletcher - Tom Perrotta
I don’t understand all the hype about this book. Eve reminded me of no one special, just a typical middle-aged woman who is coming to terms with her own life. Her son, Brendan is headed off to college where he feels life will be like those comedy videos he must have watched while a teen. In reality, they both get a reality adjustment, and come to terms with what they really want and need in life
. As I read this book, I really couldn’t understand why this book was getting all the excitement I have been hearing. Eve is going to be an empty-nester, a single mid 40’s, empty-nester which is going to be a major adjustment. Realizing that she’s going to need something to occupy her time, she signs up for a college course (great idea) but she also finds something else that starts to occupy her time. Online porn. Eve is embarrassed by her new online fascination but not embarrassed enough to quit.
Meanwhile, Brendan is getting settled into his college dorm and finding that partying all the time is taking a toll on his classes. Brendan doesn’t understand why others don’t want to “party” as they attend their lectures and study for their classes. This is not what Brendan had pictured when he imaged going to college, why is everyone so serious about these college classes?
I thought it was funny how both mother and son had similar yet different experiences. They each had something they needed to live through to gain them valuable insight.
I don’t think this book was a good fit for me but I read it for a book club read. It was an okay read.


Reblog: gift giving

I received this in my inbox yesterday and I thought it worth passing on. I didn’t have a chance to open it until this morning as I feel like I’ve been running nonstop, forever (more about that later).  Hope you enjoy the post as I thought some of the ideas were fun. 




Theme Music

Theme Music - T. Marie Vandelly
Creepy, weird, and the details…...this book was right up my alley! I’d read that this book shouldn’t be read in the dark but I’ve read that statement many other times for other books which I felt didn’t actually apply but this book, it’s twisted so dark would be perfect. I can’t tell you how many times I chatted, shouted and questioned this book while reading it, I really needed to step away from this book but I just couldn’t.
So, what made this so grand? First, let me tell you that the story moves quickly, which I enjoyed. The book starts off swiftly and it doesn’t let up until the very end. As I was speeding along, flipping the pages, there were times that I was shaking my head, and yelling at the main character Dixie, as I couldn’t believe what she was doing, she had to be crazy!
What happened? When Dixie was 18-months-old, her father killed their entire family and then, committed suicide. Dixie lost her parents and her four siblings that day and was then, raised by her Aunt Celia who has never really told Dixie about that day. Guess what? Dixie is an adult now and her childhood home is for sale, so she visits it.
Yeah, it should be okay, she was 18-months-old when her life was turned upside down inside that house, she was too little to remember. Except, Dixie doesn’t see the houses best features on her showing but something more personal and startling. She still falls in love with the house and she buys it! Of course, she does! Talk about strange. The creepy doesn’t stop there though, as it’s Dixie’s LUCKY day and she’s blessed with the actual furniture that her parents kept in that house. Her relatives are so thoughtful and saved it. If you are thinking what I thought, you are correct, what is wrong with her?
The fun or bizarre activity continued and I just couldn’t stop gripping the sides of this book. The book is very descriptive (which I loved) but it’s not done in a disgusting and/or exaggerated way. I enjoyed the way the author kept the book moving forward, how there were reveals along the way so I could check things off that were going on inside my head as I tried to figure out exactly what was happening. There were not a lot of characters in this book either. I liked the author’s execution and her style and I will definitely be reading more of her work in the future.
I liked the journey that I took while reading this book, it’s not always about if someone can solve the book early or not. It’s about the journey.


Our Souls At Night

Our Souls at Night: A novel - Kent Haruf
If it hadn’t been for bookclub, I wouldn’t have picked up this book. After reading it, I will now have to find the movie as it stars Robert Redford and Jane Fonda and I heard it’s pretty good. I really enjoyed this book and, in the end, I felt sorry for both Addie and Louis yet, I think they were content with how things worked out.
The story takes place in a small town and like most small towns, everyone seems to know what everyone else is doing. Addie is 70, and she calls upon her neighbor Louis, one day at his home. She asks Louis if he would like to spend the night with her. Now, this is not grade school, these are adults whose spouses are deceased. Addie is straight-up and tells Louis that they’ll be no sex, but that she just wants someone to talk to and be close to at night. Well?
That night, Louis cleans himself up, puts his toothbrush and pajamas in a bag and walks down the alley to her house and knocks on the backdoor. They do live in a small town, remember? Addie had been waiting at the front door for Louis and tells him to ring at the front door in the future, she’s too old to worry about what people think. I love her already! Well, I won’t tell you what happened that first night but it was perfect. It made me smile.
It isn’t long before the town knows what’s happening and you can imagine what happens. It’s what Addie and Louie do about it, that matters to me. I thought they were getting comfortable in their arrangement when Addie’s young grandson came for a visit. Addie has conflicting thoughts now.
I enjoyed how the author wrote, the reading was effortless and realistic. A great book about family, aging and life in general. It made me think about getting older in life and if I would have done anything different had I been Addie or Louie.


The Whisper Man - audio

The Whisper Man - Alex North
I have to thank Macmillan Audio for making this novel so captivating. This was the first audio that my husband has ever listened to and it was an experience. We went to visit relatives for a long weekend which required a long car drive. Normally, I read part of the way but I had some audio books I wanted to listen to and this was one of them. I have to say, I think my husband enjoyed it more than I did. I never expected such a great response from him.
First off, I have to say that my husband reads about 3 books a year. I won’t talk about the book but just give you his response to the book as I think that pretty much tells you how we felt about it. When he told me to put the book in the CD player, I was shocked, as we normally listen to country music stations on our car drives. We were about 3 CD’s into the book, when he pushes the stop button and starts to give me his commentary about what is happening in the book and his thoughts about what is about to happen. Again, I am shocked, he is actually absorbed, really absorbed as this is some deep thinking here! We have a short discussion and he resumes the CD. Again, during the next CD, he stops the player a few times to tell me his thoughts. Who is this man? I’m seriously loving that he’s into this book and analyzing it to death!
We arrive at our destination and we still have some CD’s left to listen to but he pulls the CD out of the player, saying that he doesn’t want to listen to the story on the short little trips that we’ll take around town. We’ll listen to the rest on the way home.
On our way home, we finally get done talking and I put the CD in, it starts from the beginning. He remarks that he has heard this part before and “let’s get to the part where …….” I had to laugh, he knows exactly what track to begin on and he doesn’t want to waste any time. There were many times on the way home that he stops the player to talk about the book which by now, I am used to but it appears that I am getting slow in my response time. When the CD in the player begins to start over again on track #1, he gets my attention and tells me that I really need to start paying attention and put a new CD in. I mean, really?!? Give me a second. Then, when I was relaxing with my eyes close, he thought that I was not listening and he proceeded to tell me what I had missed on the CD. This was so much fun!
So, thank you Macmillan Audio for this audio. Now, my husband understands when I sit in the garage after returning home and I continue listening to my audio books in my car.


Deep in the Ocean

Deep in the Ocean - Lucie Brunellière
The illustrations are stunning in this oversized board book. You can’t help but stop reading the text and marvel at the bright colorful world in the ocean. I don’t really care who is in the submarine or what it’s doing deep in the ocean, it’s the colorful fish and ocean life that’s portrayed in this book that has captured my attention.
After looking and reading this book over and over again, I have to wonder who would read this book. I am hoping many people don’t overlook it because it’s a board book and associate that with being a baby book because they would be missing out. The text in this book is far from being a baby book as the language is deep and not your typical baby language. Words such as cuttlefish, trench, vampire squid, abyss, paradise, and anemone are not typical language found in these types of books. The book will definitely catch the eye of a baby as it is bright and has lots of contrasting colors. The text is geared more towards a reader and/or the parent.
It’s a beautiful book that takes you under the ocean as you travel along side a submarine as it makes its way through the water. You will see an abundance of fishes, coral and other water plants as you turn the pages. The text explains exactly what you see from beluga whales, to sea butterflies, to lantern fish, to a huge blue whale, to dolphins, just to give you a few examples. As you read, try to find the items. I think you will find more items than the text describes. The illustrations are not cartoonish nor are they realistic photos but they provide enough detail to look realistic.
I think this would make a great book for families with children of different ages, as it would provide the text for older readers and the illustrations for everyone to enjoy. It would be a great read aloud as the illustrations are fantastic and the text is educational and enough to get children involved. Also, this would be a great book for a child to grow into. A wonderful book for the whole family.


This is the soundtrack that you are to listen to as you read the book- pretty sweet deal.


F**k, Now There Are Two of You

F**k, Now There Are Two Of You - Adam Mansbach
I didn’t think this book was as good as the first book. I really struggled with the rhyming aspect in this book as I had to really slow down and say each word before I was able to get the rhyming to work for me. What I did like in this book was the illustrations and the message that the text was getting across (aside from the curse words).
Just when you thought you had things under control and you could go out in public w/o taking half your house with you or knowing that you could actually go eat at restaurant for about an hour, w/ an individual who brings you food, you decide that your life is too quiet and you have another baby. I’m sure that was your first thought, right? You think about the individuals who have their children close together and wonder, how can they handle all those kids in diapers and then you, wait until things have calmed down at home and the add another baby to your house and now, things are crazy again and calm is a word in the dictionary.
In this book, the parents have just found out that they’re pregnant again. Their son will not be getting all their attention anymore and they knew there might be some behavior issues yet as you read, their son becomes quite a handful. The whole family must now make adjustments for the baby as he arrives and makes his presence known. Meanwhile, their son is also making his presence known. There are some sweet moments and the parents love their children but with two children on two different schedules, the parents are running out of energy.
The illustrations show the love and chaos that families face. Many of the illustrations made me laugh as I remember trying to juggle my own kids. I think the text and illustrations worked for me and if I didn’t try to rhythm, I liked the book.
The book brought back a lot of memories. Trying to juggle my own kids and not lose it. I think it helped when I tried to walk in my kid’s shoes. So, would it be okay to play in the mud? Be messy with my food? Draw on the walls? How about give them a place where they can draw (a big section of space)? Sometimes, there is a time and a place for these activities (boundaries).


The Ant and the Elephant

The Ant and the Elephant - Bill Peet
These books are very popular at our library but I have never read one before. Bill Peet writes a whole series of these books and I found this one and purchased it as a gift. Of course, I had to read it before I wrapped it and now, I can see why he’s a popular author.
This is a longer children’s story but it wasn’t drawn out and boring but it kept my attention as there was a pattern to the story. I liked that as I read, I was predicting what would happen next, and as I got closer to the end, I was predicting what would happen and then, what happened was not what I expected at all! The ending was great and left a smile on my face but it was NOT what I expected, at all. The story also had a moral which, if you read with/to your child, is something else you can talk to your child about.
I also liked the illustrations in this book. I feel that they go with the feel of the text, as they’re not bright and bold illustrations but rather a nice, soft hue of colors. This book was copyrighted in 1972, but that doesn’t date the story or make the story less important.
The story begins with a tiny ant who had climbed up a blade of jungle grass so he could view the river. When the wind blew, that tiny ant was sent flying off into the rushing water. Luckily, before he was dragged further downstream, he spied a tree limb that was sticking straight out of the middle of the river. Ant grabbed a branch of that limb and climbed onto it. Safe for now, Ant was still stuck in the middle of the river. A mud turtle was walking along the shore and when Ant called out to him, he stopped. Ant asked Mr. Hardshell kindly, if he would swim out to give him a lift back to dry land. Mr. Hardshell explained to Ant that he had just been in the water. He then continued, if he helped everyone who needed him, he wouldn’t have any time to relax and with that, he trotted along.
Oh, Mr. Hardshell, if only you would have taken the time. The motion is now set for the book, as this mud turtle trots off to sun himself on a warm rock. Unfortunately, his day doesn’t go so well either. Now, Ant and Mr. Hardshell are experiencing difficult predicaments, I wonder who is next?
I’m going to have to read some of the other ones in this series. I picked up a good one.


Dog's Colorful Day

Dog's Colorful Day:A Messy Story About Colors and Counting - Emma Dodd
This is a cute color and counting story for young readers. I liked how you followed along in dog’s day as bright spots of colors appear on his white coat of fur. I also like the language this children’s book uses. Combining colors and counting, children are learning while also reading a cute story.
Dog is white with one black spot on his left ear. During his day, he travels around and spots appear on his fur as accidents occur around him. A bee buzzes by and swish a drop of yellow pollen falls on him, a splat of red jam from his owner’s breakfast table lands on him, and dog even steps on an orange juice container and it splurts a patch of orange on him. These are just a few examples from the book but don’t you just love everything that is happening here? The use of color, the counting, and the word language. The author uses great visual language and doesn’t use the word dropped or fell but uses splurts, splat, and swish.
I really like this book, it looks like a simple book but it’s very educational.