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text 2017-05-26 18:55
Friday Reads - Summer Holiday Weekend Part I
After the Storm: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Her Last Breath - Linda Castillo
Among the Wicked: A Kate Burkholder Novel - Linda Castillo
Death by Tiara (A Jaine Austen Mystery) - Laura Levine
Egg Drop Dead - Laura Childs
Purl Up and Die (A Knitting Mystery) - Maggie Sefton
Nothing but Trouble - Susan May Warren
Diary of an Accidental Wallflower - Jennifer McQuiston

I feel like it has been a long time since I did a Friday Reads post. I hope all my fellow US'ians have a safe holiday weekend. I hope my British neighbors have a safe bank holiday weekend. We got caught in a heat wave (in the 80s come afternoon time) so I broke out the kiddie pool; forecast states we have one more beautiful summer day, then the rain and lower temps are coming by the end of the weekend. I am spending most of my weekend with books and a long walk in the Thetford Forest with the family before the rain comes.

 

Here is what I hope to read over the weekend/the final week in May.

 

1. After the Storm by Linda Castillo

2. Her Last Breath by Linda Castillo 

3. Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo

      I picked these three books from the library. They're from the Kate Burkholder series (Amish police procedurals). I've wanted to try this series for a while now. These books are from later in the series.

 

4. Death by Tiara by Laura Levine

5. Egg Drop Dead by Laura Childs

6. Purl Up and Die by Maggie Sefton

        Another bunch from the library, this time in really cute cozy mystery flavor. The first is from the Jaine Austen series, and the name of the series was enough for me to take it off the shelf. I tried one book from Laura Childs before (from that tea shop mystery series) and DNF'ed it, so I don't have much expectation for this one (from the Cackleberry Club series). The last one's titled just made me laugh.

 

7. Nothing But Trouble by Susan May Warren

           Borrowed this one from OverDrive because I kept getting recommended it (OD has the first three books in the series). I'm at the 62% mark and really liking it; PJ is not one of those perfect model of a Christian, but she is a Christian with good intentions and a good heart. The writing is different from a lot of Christian fiction without being profane. I am looking forward to book two and three.

 

8. Diary of an Accidental Wallflower by Jennifer McQuinston

          My BL-opoly pick which makes it a priority. New to me author, but I loved the interviews she did for the Smart Podcast, Trashy Books podcast - she talked about her work at the CDC in general and her work in Africa dealing with Ebola outbreak specifically....along with her weekend job writing historical romances.

 

 

 

 

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text 2017-05-06 18:20
Public Library ebook finds
Wild about Greens: 125 Delectable Vegan Recipes for Kale, Collards, Arugula, BOK Choy, and Other Leafy Veggies Everyone Loves - Nava Atlas
Chicken and Egg - Janice Cole
Yummy Potatoes: 65 Downright Delicious Recipes - Marlena Spieler,Sheri Giblin
Homegrown Pure and Simple: Great Healthy Food from Garden to Table by Michel Nischan (2005-08-18) - Mary Goodbody,Michel Nischan
101 Things to Do with Zucchini - Cyndi Duncan,Georgie Patrick
101 Things to Do With Eggs - Toni Patrick
101 Things to Do with Rotisserie Chicken - Madge Baird

Some more cookbooks I'll eventually borrow from public library ebook loans (mine uses overdrive).

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review 2017-04-16 16:05
Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker
Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I - Paula Becker

This biography of one of America’s iconic women captures Betty MacDonald from top to bottom, from her grandparents to the relatives that survived her death. Her books shined a humorous, if sometimes critical, eye on certain aspects of living in the Pacific Northwest as one the last frontier lands in the country from the 1920s-1940s. Now Paula Becker draws the curtain back and shows us some of the things that Betty herself was reluctant to put in her semi-autobiographical novels.

After having listened to Betty MacDonald’s four novels, and having read her Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books as a kid, I felt like I knew her somewhat. This biography filled in some of the blanks and had a few surprises for me as well. Getting to know more about Betty’s ancestors and her first husband was an interesting place to start. I loved that her mom was a no-nonsense kind of person and happily traveled with her husband (who worked for a mining company – if I recall correctly). This job took the family to some of the most rugged areas of the US.

Later, when Betty starts publishing novels, Becker gives a somewhat detailed account of what each one is about. While these books aren’t described one after another all in a row (but are sprinkled in among the biography along the timeline of when they were published), I did find the descriptions a little tedious. However, I have recently finished listening to them and they are still fresh in my mind. I think that if you haven’t read the books in some time (or perhaps you haven’t read all 4 of them) then this would be a good refresher for you.

For me, the most interesting parts were in the last quarter of the book – all that stuff that happens after Betty’s fourth novel, Onions in the Stew, was published. While Betty’s second marriage was evidently much happier than her first, it wasn’t untroubled. There were money problems which surprised me. Betty’s books were very well received in their day, complete with radio and TV series along with a movie. Yet success doesn’t always prepare one to manage money well, especially if one turns that responsibility over to a spouse. Betty was in the unusual position of being the breadwinner for the family and yet also feeling socially obligated to play the merry housemaker. Becker gives us details on this without falling into gossip. I really appreciate that she stuck with known facts and extracts from MacDonald letters to paint this picture of Betty’s and Don’s marriage.

While I had read on Wikipedia about Betty’s legal troubles (several people were not happy with how they were supposedly portrayed in her books), Becker gives us many details. Plenty of those complaining received a bit of fame. Some of them really seemed to enjoy it so it was hard to say that the portrayals in Betty’s books did them any harm.

I was saddened to learn of Betty’s death and this probably sounds quite odd as I’ve known since I picked up The Egg and I so many months ago that she was deceased. However, I’ve really come to enjoy her company through these books. As Becker’s biography walks us through her last months, I really felt for Betty. She died young by today’s standards but I doubt there was much more medicine could have done then. After reading her book about her lengthy stay in a tuberculosis sanatorium (The Plague and I), I can guess that she faced her final illness with the same pointed wit.

I received a free copy of this book via The Audiobookworm.

The Narration: Paula Becker narrated her own book and since this is nonfiction, it worked pretty well. She tried her hand at doing a few voices when necessary and those performances were passable. For the bulk of the book, she does a great job of maintaining an even speed and giving slight inflections here and there, letting us know that she’s just as engaged in the book as us listeners are.

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review 2017-04-02 22:43
Dumb Bunny
Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny - Barbara Park,Denise Brunkus

Junie B. Jones is an average first grader. However, one of her classmates, Lucille is having Easter egg hunter at her house and everyone in class is invited.  The Easter egg hunt is a Lucille's mansion and the winner that finds the golden egg wins a play date to swim in Lucille's heated indoor swimming pool! Only, there's a small problem. Well a big pink fluffy problem. Lucille insists on Junie being the Easter rabbit complete with floppy ears and a cotton tail. Junie hates costumes and keeps tripping over her own too big rabbit feet. She just feels like a big old dumb bunny and has no hopes of winning the prize. Will Junie give up or does she have something up her basket? 

 

This book has a super fun activity to go with it. I would have my class hunt for eggs, however, they are in for more than just candy with this fun activity. They would be on a scavenger egg hunt and only the reading clues inside the eggs will help them get to the grand prize at the end. 

Reading Level: 1st grade through 4th grade

LEX 410L 

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review 2017-03-14 00:53
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss
Horton Hatches the Egg - Dr. Seuss

Genre:  Animals / Responsibility / Drama / Family


Year Published: 1940


Year Read:  2010

Series: Horton the Elephant #1

Publisher: Random House

 

Horton

"Horton Hatches the Egg" is one of Dr. Seuss' most memorable classics as it stars everyone's favorite elephant, Horton! This time, Horton has his hands full as he tries his best to take care of a lazy bird named Mayzie's egg while she goes off to take a vacation. Unfortunately, hunters come in the jungle and they got Horton trapped! Will Horton get out of this dangerous predicament and still protect Mayzie's egg? Read the story to find out!

Dr. Seuss had done a great job at both illustrating and writing this book. What was so unique about this book were the illustrations. The main colors used for the images were blue, black, white and red, which makes the book extremely creative as few books use only three or four colors to color the images. Horton the elephant always wore a smile on his face, despite his horrendous situation, making him a truly innocent and friendly animal. A great trait that this book has shown is how loyal and determine Horton is as he was willing to take care of Mayzie's egg and he refused to let anyone tease him about taking care of the egg since he wanted to follow on his word that he will take good care of the egg.

Horton

The only problem this book has, in terms of if it is appropriate for children, is that Mayzie was being selfish around Horton and she refused to take responsibility for taking care of her egg at the expense of Horton. But, don't worry, Mayzie's irresponsible actions are shown in a negative light and the story strongly encourages children to be more responsible and to not follow Mayzie's example of irresponsibility.

"Horton Hatches the Egg" is truly a memorable classic about the importance of being loyal and keeping your promise to people and this book will easily be an instant hit for children everywhere. I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book unless you count Mayzie's irresponsible behavior being unsuitable for children to learn from.

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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