Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tome Topple Readathon Wrap Up

I have been participating in the Tome Topple Readathon that was hosted as a Goodreads Group.  It was a 2 week challenge from the 7th of April to the 20th of April, and your goal was to read books over 500 pages. You can see my original sign up post HERE.
 
 So I had a pretty ambitious TBR pile for the challenge



So here are the books I actually read and finished:
A Court of Mist and Fury - 626 pages
The Sculptor - 496 pages
The Book Thief - 552 pages


and while I am pretty proud of what I did read, I didn't quite get as much read as I had hoped.  There are a few reasons for that, I didn't get started on the readathon until about 5 days in because I had several books to finish first.  Next I really struggled with getting into The Book Thief at the beginning and I finally had to put it down and pick up a different choice instead (thankfully that decision really helped).  I definitely wouldn't hesitate to try this readathon again, though next time I would like to actually read with someone or at least interact with other readathoners.


Did you participate? What book did you read? How was your reading experience?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

RI Author Feature: The Longest Game by Steven Krasner

 
 
Synopsis: "A non-fiction account of the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning game between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings played in 1981 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Two of the players in the game became major league superstars: Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken, Jr. How well did they do? Check out the box score at the end of the book."

My Review: I had only heard about this historic event in baseball briefly in the past but being that it took place in RI and the book is written by a RI Author, I thought I should pick it up. I like that it is a non-fiction accounting of the game. It is a little repetitive, giving an overview at the beginning and then going into more detail throughout the book made it a little long for young readers to sit through. It would be great though for those young baseball fans or those going to see a game at McCoy stadium. The pencil illustrations were great and gave a classic feel that matched the book well.
 
My Rating: This was a little repetitive but it would be fun for those young baseball fans and players.  I also love that while an obscure fact in most of the world, it is non-fiction and an actual event.  We give it a rating of Three Paws.
 
Note: We are sitting at Munchkin's very first Tball game now, thankfully at this point they limit the number of innings and length of the innings!
 
You can find out more about Steven Krasner and his other works on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
I had picked up my copy of this book at a local event but you can order your own copy in print format from Amazon or see if your local bookshop can order a copy for you.

Friday, April 21, 2017

RI Author Feature: Bedtime Story: Why Not Call it Cow Juice by Steven Krasner


 
 
Synopsis: "A fun, whimsical 32-page picture book featuring plays on words for 7-12-year-olds, as well as bedtime reading for younger children.

Dad gets mixed up a lot, to the amusement and frustration of Mom and their three children, Amy, Jeffrey and Emily. You get apple juice from apples, right? So what do you get from cows? Cow juice, right? You have to squeeze the cow, too, don’t you? That’s what Dad thinks, anyway. Ears of corn? Heads of lettuce?

Eventually, Amy and Jeffrey turn the tables on their silly Dad.

Find the cows that are hidden on every double page!"


My Review: This is such a fun book to read, and while kids will be completely entertained by it, adults will find the true humor in it. We had so much fun reading this, I read it with Munchkin and my mom & nieces over Skype and the kids really had fun but mom and I were really entertained. Not only is the story entertaining and sure to get the giggles started but the added element of a hidden cow on each page spread keeps the kids engaged in the story.
 
My Rating: This is a fun book, it is meant for slightly older children who will maybe understand the different ways of saying things and the humor, but it is still a fun book for younger siblings to find the cows on each page.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
 
 
 
You can find out more about Steven Krasner and his other works on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
I had picked up my copy of this book at a local event but you can order your own copy in print format from Amazon or see if your local bookshop can order a copy for you.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

RI Author Feature: More Than Peaches by Christine Depetrillo

 
Reviews of the Previous Books:
 
Synopsis: "Book Six in The Maple Leaf Series

Grady O’Donnell serves drinks to all who roam into his bar, The Clumsy Grasshopper. His heart had once been filled to the rim with love back home in Ireland, but the Universe shattered that bottle. He’s started over in busy Boston, and he’s happy to mix his business, his painting, and his lazy beagle, Cricket, into a life he can easily swallow. Most of the time.

Lena Clover brightens people’s days in Boston with her natural wares at Clover’s Fruit and Flower Shoppe. She’s been so involved in running her farm and store that she’s let her love life seriously wilt. The only love she gives out is to her silly dog, Snowy. Her business partner wants to help her cultivate that part of her life, but after her last relationship, she’s still not ready to stop and smell the roses with anyone.

Until she meets Grady.

Brought together to work on wedding arrangements for Rachel and Harris, their mutual friends, Grady and Lena have to face the fact that maybe, just maybe, there is a little room to explore the instant attraction blooming between them.

If their plans don’t get weedwhacked, that is."


My Review: I have been following this series since the beginning and have really enjoyed it, while I am a little sad to see it end, this was a great conclusion. I had thought in the last book (More than Cocoa) that Harris would be my favorite guy of the series, but honestly Grady has stolen my heart entirely. Lena is also a great female lead, she is kind, loving and sweet but still strong and independent. I love the way the relationship grows between Lena and Grady and their respect for each other was what really made it for me. I also love how the previous characters are integrated into this book and it was all wrapped up nicely, making a satisfying end to the series. This would be a great book to read in the summer, surrounded by sunshine and fresh fruit.
 
My Rating: I love when authors are able to wrap up a series and leave it satisfying but a clear conclusion, and this was one of them. I enjoyed this book so much and fell in love with Grady and Lena.  I give this book a rating  of Four Paws!
 
 
You can find out more about Christine Depetrillo and her work, including this series and her new series, on her Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can purchase More Than Peaches in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or check in your local bookshop for the whole series, if they don't have it ask to have it ordered.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

RI Author Feature: Motocross Summer by Thom Ring

 
Synopsis: "You know those "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" essays teachers always give students as a new school year begins? Well, Jason Merlo finally has something to write about. He went motocrossing.
Starting out in the novice class for newcomers, Jason shows how serious he is about racing. With
the help of two new racing buds he learns what it takes to go fast in this brutally demanding sport. He also proves that hard work pays off, as he gets faster almost every race.
Soon he's running neck and neck against the fastest guys in his class, "guys" turning out to be a much more general term than he originally thought. His success on his Honda motocrosser goes beyond what he'd even hoped for. Yet as obsessed as Jason is with motocross, it's a new
friendship with an old flat-track racer that gives him his biggest thrill - and surprise - of the
summer."


My Review: I picked this book up at a local RI Author event to support my local authors and to build up Munchkin's library. I thought this would be more of a middle grade book based on the length, but the characters are senior's in high school, with that said middle grade readers would still be able to really enjoy the book. I grew up in a place where motocrossing was pretty popular and several classmates even competed but even with that experience I still learned a lot more about the sport. I would caution parents because by the end of this book your young reader may be asking for a bike! I like that the book is geared more towards male readers but there are also female riders in the book so girls may also enjoy this book. It was a thrilling and adventure filled book that also has some great life lessons to take away from it.
  
 
My Rating: I really enjoyed this one, even more than I expected and while it is geared more towards boys, girls will also enjoy it. I think Munchkin will have fun with this book someday, and I already know a few more reluctant young readers who may just latch on to books after this one.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!
 
 
Note: I did have the opportunity to discuss the book with the author after reading it and he made a few good points to me.  One of them was the fact that he wrote up in age for kids because they don't want to read down and as it is written so that a wide range of young readers, both reluctant and experienced bookworms, could enjoy it. There are also two other books in this series so far but they can be read in any order and as stand alones and all are currently geared towards racing things with motors ;)
 
I had the pleasure of meeting Thom Ring at the local RI Author Expo but you can find out more about him and his books on his Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can obtain your own copy of Motocross Summer in digital or print format from Amazon or you can get each book or the whole series (even personalized for that perfect gift) from Thom's Website or ask your local book supplier to order it.
 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

RI Author Feature: Hidden Presences by Jenna O'del

 
Synopsis: "In the middle of the night, Adamar the fox's kit, Miro, is stolen. When Adamar learns about Miro's disappearance, he is guided towards the Darvin kingdom, and its king, Girbindon. Adamar and his fellow archers head out on a quest to bring Miro home. On the quest, they must fight the forces of Girbindon, who is determined to keep Miro for his evil plans. Adamar is ready to get Miro back at any cost, but he quickly begins to discover just how far Girbindon's influence reaches."

My Review: I discovered this book at a local RI Author event last spring, I was very impressed to find a teen with a published book. This book had some unique story ideas and quite an adventure story. I did find that there was a lot of repetition in descriptions and at times it got a little tedious to read, but with continued writing experience and some editing this will improve. The characters were anthropomorphic and each had very unique qualities, you didn't forget what species they were or that they had animal instincts and tendencies. I think that readers from middle grade on up will be able to enjoy this book.
 
My Rating: I tend to really like the idea of anthropomorphic books but I do end up struggling with them.  This book did a great job of making it clear that the characters were not entirely human which does help.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.
 
 
I had the pleasure of meeting this young teen author at an author event last spring.  It is always impressive to find someone so young publishing a book. I am sure with continued work and experience her books will improve with each step.  You can find out more about Jenna O'del and her work on her Goodreads Page or Website.
 
You can also obtain your own copy of this first book in the Hidden Strength Series in either print or digital format from Amazon.
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Reading List




Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!




Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Calen the Emerald by Rich Feitelberg
Fables and Fiction by Rich Feitelberg
Monster Trucks by Anika Denise (Bedtime Story)
Mad Tales by Joseph Mazzenga
 
 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Pups Save the Bunnies
The Garden that We Grew

 
Currently Reading:
 
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas - Print - on page 280 of 626
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott - Audio - 86%
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak - Print - on page 114 of 552




 Books to be Read Soon:

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
The Sculptor

 

Pages Read/ Time Listened
91:45 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
17,660 Pages Read (918 this week)

Books Added to Shelves This Month
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
The Mating by BJ Cunningham & Misty Clark
Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle
Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle
Keeper by Ellen Jensen Abbott
Love and Muddy Puddles by Cecily Paterson
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Irish Rising by Marie Rose Dufour
The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
Huck: Book 1- All American by Mark Millar

Books Read From My Shelves
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


 

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Well I didn't get nearly as much reading done as I had hoped this last week.  It was a little chaotic around here.  Hubby has worked every single day for the past 3 weeks, and finally got some time off Saturday and Sunday, so I have been holding the fort down, catching mice, spring cleaning and Easter prep on my own lately. I think all the additional work has really caught up to me because I have been exhausted and barely able to keep my eyes open for reading at the end of the day.

Munchkin did have his first Tball practice this last week and seemed to really have fun (even though one of the boys was already picking on him). He has another practice this week and then opening day and his first game on Saturday! He is going to have a big cheering squad with the whole family on Hubby's side there plus some additional friends too!
 
I hope you all had a great Easter (those of you who celebrate) and that you have a great week this week!