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review 2017-06-26 20:57
Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis
Please Don't Tell My Parents I Have A Nemesis - Richard Roberts

[I received a copy of this book from the publisher.]

I remember being disappointed with the previous instalment. This one, although not as strong as the first volume in the series, I felt was better—probably because it deals less with slice-of-life/school moments, and tackles more seriously the matter of Penny wanting to come clean to her parents about the Inscrutable Machine. Well, ‘seriously’ being a tentative word, because her plan is, as Ray and Clair put it, just crazy enough to actually work. (On the other hand, well, it’s a plan crafted by a 14-year-old mad scientist, soooooo... why not!)

... And you can sense this plan smells like Eau de Backfiring from the moment it is formulated, and can’t help but wait for the train wreck to happen, and... I admit, I liked that part of the plot. Even though it didn’t cover the whole book (too bad). In a twisted way, the mistakes Penny keeps committing seem to me like they’re actually her subconscious, or perhaps her power, acting her to act: she wants to be a hero, she regularly tries to help people and do good deeds, but somehow she seems more cut out to be an ambiguous hero at best. More suited to be filed with the likes of Lucyfar than Marvelous.

(I’m also thinking that IF this is what the author is indeed going for, then it might also explain the Audit’s lack of insight about her daughter: maybe the Audit does know, has known for a while, and isn’t saying anything because she wants Penny to realise by herself what her true decision will have to be.)

What I regret:

- Like in the previous two books, we don’t see much of Ray and Claire, both in terms of development and sidekicking (summer camp kind of gets in the latter’s way). Hopefully the last volume will take care of the whole ‘Ray’s family’ issue. Or maybe it’s not worth it? I don’t know, I’ve always felt there was something off to them, and not merely as in ‘they don’t like superheroes/villains so I can’t tell them I’m one now.’

- The coming back of a friendtagonist: I was expecting it, I wanted to see it happen, yet at the same time, the way it was dealt with felt like a plot device. Kind of ‘this character is needed to help Penny build one specific machine, and then will be unneeded for the rest of the book.’ Meh.

What I’m in between about:
- The ending. It is fairly depressing, and a cliffhanger... yet at the same time, I’m glad the whole thing wasn’t solved just like that, since it would’ve been too simple, and... ‘too clean?’

Conclusion: Not on par with volume 1, howeve it did leave me with a better impression than volume 3.

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review 2017-05-17 07:25
Susannah's Garden
Susannah's Garden - Debbie Macomber

This is the 3rd book in the Blossom Street Series and it is also my favorite book in the series.  I'm not sure what it is about this book that makes me like it so much but I've read it 4 times (that I can remember).  I guess maybe it is because there is a mystery to be solved and I love mysteries.  I often have a hard time staying interested in books when there isn't a mystery. 

 

This book takes the reader away from Blossom Street when Susannah learns her widowed mother is not doing as well as she thought living alone.  She decides to go stay with her mother for a while and see how she is doing for herself.  She soon realizes her mother needs to be moved to a long-term care facility.  She was especially concerned when her mother tells her that her dead husband is coming to see her.  

 

Susannah also has another mission too, one she did not tell her husband about.  She wants to find her high school boyfriend and find out why he suddenly left and where he went.  While looking through her father's desk she uncovers some things that her father was keeping secret.  Together with one of her friends from high school they start to put the pieces together.

 

While Susannah is dealing with those things her daughter is home from college for the summer and decides to come and help her mom with her grandmother.  She ends up hooking up with a troublemaker that is the son of someone Susannah went to school with.  Susannah is sure he is dealing drugs and doesn't want her daughter to be involved with him but trying to talk to her daughter only causes more problems.  Her daughter is just like Susannah was when she was that age and she is learning how her dad must have felt.  

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review 2017-05-01 00:07
Book 23/100: Parents Need to Eat Too by Debbie Koenig
Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents - Debbie Koenig

I asked my IRL and Goodreads friend who has a lot of cookbooks on her GR list how she decided that a cookbook had been "read" -- did she read it cover to cover? She said her criteria was that she had looked through the whole thing and cooked at least one recipe from it. Those seemed like sensible criteria to me, so I shall adopt them as my own when reviewing cookbooks.

Although I did not read every single word in this cookbook, I did page through all the recipes (diligently page-flagging the MANY I want to try), read a lot of the tips and anecdotes and sidebars, and cooked two recipes from it over the weekend (which both earned a "very good" rating -- my recipe rating system is "average" (realistically, something I will never bother cooking again), "good," "very good," and "excellent.")

I honestly love this cookbook for so many reasons. I think the best cookbooks should inspire you to want to cook what you find in their pages immediately, and make you feel excited about the many culinary possibilities that lay before you. This cookbook does just that, and it has the added advantage of being full of time-saving tips and a variety of recipes that truly are quick and easy without being too bland or predictable. Although it is not a vegetarian cookbook, it is not overly meat-heavy, either -- even skipping over the meat recipes, I found plenty of meal ideas. It's organized in a way that makes it easy to find what you want based on your own style of cooking, and I learned some important general cooking tips from the various notes and sidebars. There are no photos of the food, which I prefer -- photos tend to intimidate rather than inspire me. It's just all information, all the time, and it's almost all good.

With all this praise, it may be puzzling that I gave this book four stars instead of five. It lost one star due to its "big batch" (i.e., freezer cooking) chapter being somewhat disappointing. As a veteran freezer cooker (it's how my household has been eating since 2013), I disagreed with some of her tips and thought she left some important methods and overall techniques out. It's clear this is not her particular area of expertise, which is OK -- she does provide additional resources for those who find the idea appealing after an initial introduction.

Overall, though, I expect to use this cookbook a LOT in the coming months, and I'm looking forward to it!

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text 2017-04-09 15:55
Report from what might be the last parents group meeting

Warning! Potentially boring child related post.

Last week the parents' group (or as I might have mentioned before, by now the mothers' group) had a meeting at the library. It went great, but it feels a little sad. Most of the other mothers have gone back to work now. Their children are in daycare and they will only be able to meet during the weekends if at all. Unfortunately, we can't get anywhere during the weekend, so I guess this is it. There are two more mothers still at home with their babies/toddlers, in this case two girls, so those few of us might still be able to meet again a few times, if anyone's still interested. Everyone except us might be able to get together during the weekends, but somehow I think most have lost interest in the group. So sad. It's been so great meeting other parents and learning more about the progress of their children.

Anyway, to begin with, the children's librarian showed up bringing a pile of books suitable for one-year-olds. I hadn't really heard of any of them, but most seemed great so I'll see if I can get my hands on at least some of them. After that, we got to stay in the private room for as long as we wanted.

A funny little incident occurred. We'd run into J and his mother G on the way to the stores the week before. Then G told us that J has met a little girl in daycare and that he's so enamoured of her that he wants to share his pacifier with her. Which might be the daycare equivalent of engagement? LOL. Unfortunately, it seems J is just as much of a philanderer as little M who so courteously approached me to obtain my permission to court my daughter (in a manner of speaking, LOL), then kiss her hand, only to have forgotten all about her the next time. J cornered Pepper and tried to kiss her. (On the cheek, naturally). She skillfully maneouvered two chairs into position to avoid him. In the end, J managed to kiss her anyway and she took that in her stride. Pepper is a tough little girl. G, J:s mother was embarrassed. Poor J seems a bit traumatized by being in daycare. He clung pathetically to his mum for a long time before he finally realized he could close the door to keep her inside. It's so sad seeing that big, confident, mobile boy reduced to an insecure baby again, just because his mum had to go back to work. G says she regrets it now and wished she'd held on a little longer.

After a while, we decided to go to the cosy cafe only a few houses away, where we usually meet. G:s mother was visiting and it seemed G:s husband desperately wanted to get rid of his mother-in-law. G asked us if it was ok for her mother to join us and we all said yes. So we asked if it would be ok to ask our mum to join us and of course everyone agreed.

So now we're a parents' and grandparents' group. :) Maybe L and E want to bring their mothers too if there ever is a next time. LOL. It's always great to have a few extra hands to help with the children. You'd be surprised how long and strong those little arms and hands can be when they're reaching for something like a hot cup of coffee.

Pepper seems to have mastered saying 'Mum' now and both twins are busy practicing their conversational skills, even though we grownups can't quite understand what they're trying to say yet. It seems they're a bit late, compared to the other children. All seem to be speaking several words by now, but T, L:'s daughter isn't walking at all yet.

And - all this happened last week, which means everything seemed normal back then. Now everything's different, after the terror attack in Stockholm that occurred yesterday afternoon. If you're interested I've blogged about it here.

Source: crimsoncorundum.dreamwidth.org/178540.html
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text 2017-04-08 02:36
My Parents Think I'm Sleeping
My Parents Think I'm Sleeping - Jack Prelutsky,Yossi Abolafia

N/A

1-5

This book is about a young boy who stays awake after his parents go to bed.  He goes on adventures in his house.  This book is poetry based.  It does not always rhyme, but it would be a good way to introduce poetry.  I would use this book to teach that poetry does not always have to rhyme completely.  I would also allow my students to write a free-verse poem at the end and hang them in the hallway.

5 Stars

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