Saturday, January 24, 2015

Book Cravings

Welcome to my new blog event called Mindless Weekend Rambling where I will ramble on and on aimlessly about all the junk rolling around in my brain. Occasionally I might rant and rave about something that is bothering me or question the sanity of it all, or maybe choose to discuss my to do list or plans that I am making or maybe share something new I learned. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will be totally off the cuff. I hope you will bear with me and maybe get a laugh or two in the process.
Don't you just hate cravings? You want something but just can't place it.  It is one thing to have a food craving, you just head to the fridge and cabinet and start tasting things until you find just what you want.
Book cravings are a whole other animal.  On Thursday night I was struck by a craving and couldn't figure out what I wanted to read.  Unfortunately, with book cravings, a taste of a book can sometimes take half an hour or more to find out it wasn't what you wanted.  You only have time to taste maybe two or three books in a night and nail down your craving, or you end up like me and sadly going to bed without that perfect book filling.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Bedtime Story: The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Synopsis: "No book has captured the magic and sense of possibility of the first snowfall better than The Snowy Day. Universal in its appeal, the story has become a favorite of millions, as it reveals a child's wonder at a new world, and the hope of capturing and keeping that wonder forever.
The adventures of a little boy in the city on a very snowy day."

My Review: This is a fun book even though it is simple. Munchkin had a lot of fun pointing out the snow activities and can't wait to try them out himself once we have a little more snow and not such bitter cold. Snowy Day is a great teaching tool for both sounds, and snow to water.
My Rating: I think this will be a book we go back to again and again, especially when we finally have snow to play in outside. It gets a rating of Four Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Monsters Munch Lunch by Abigail Tabby

Read for: Beginning Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "It's lunchtime and some Sesame Street monsters sure are HUNGRY! Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Grover are more than happy to whip up a tasty meal for their pals. Short, snappy rhyming text, punctuated by a repeated refrain, make this rollicking tale of lunchtime loads of fun. Bright cut-paper illustrations illuminate the nonstop action (and a little bit of kitchen chaos) for a giggle-inducing Step 1 reading adventure."

My Review: This is a perfect book for those beginning readers. It has simple lines that coordinate with the illustrations and well as plenty of repetitive lines and rhyming. It is also a great book for Munchkin, featuring favorite characters and one of his favorite things, cooking.
My Rating: This is such a great beginning reader book filled with simple words and sentences, repeated words and sounds and familiar characters. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Review of Locking Horns by MK Trent

Read for: Across the States, Mount TBR
Synopsis: "High school comes back to haunt Lexi Cunningham when she finds herself doing community service in Charles Town, West Virginia at Buddy Beckett's cattle ranch. Buddy was the school trouble-maker she had no time for. Now she has to make time for him - 100 hours of time to be exact. Buddy Beckett's favorite fantasy thirteen years ago was arrogant, unapproachable Alexis Cunningham. Much to his delight, she's gotten herself into dutch with the law and her retribution includes cleaning stalls in his barn. Quite a come-down for the girl who considered herself better than everyone else in high school. Thrown together in one crazy situation after another, Buddy and Lexi discover that life can toss some pretty big cow pies into the ring - including the big "L" word, Love."

My Review: This was a little different from what I expected. I wasn't a fan of the conflict, it seems a little ridiculous to hold onto a high school grudge and personality for that long. As a result of this I really did not like Alexis. I did however like Buddy even though he was a little bitter it seemed he got over it quickly and just wanted to bring the snobby Alexis down a peg or two (which was clearly needed), I absolutely loved his family and would have liked more with them. I feel like it took a really long time to bring around the conclusion. I guess maybe it all just felt a little immature to me.
My Rating: I didn't really enjoy most of this one, I felt like so much was immature and forced.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Note: there are some risqué scenes but they are limited and easily skipped over.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Review of Dizzy Miss Lizzie by RM Clark

Read for: Requested Review
Synopsis: "Thirteen-year-old Kasey Madrid finally has the freedom she's always wanted. Instead of putting up with sitters or camps, she can spend the summer home alone in their 'new' house. Never mind that the house is a creepy old place built in the nineteenth century. The creep factor skyrockets when Kasey meets a nineteenth-century girl named Lizzie Bellows in the basement. It takes some time for Lizzie to convince Kasey she's not a ghost, though neither girl understands why they can see each other when they live 120 years apart.

The differences in their worlds doesn't stop the two from becoming fast friends. Lizzie's life isn't easy, though. In her time, her parents died in a fire many believe Lizzie started herself. As the summer passes and Kasey learns more about her own past, she is shocked to discover Lizzie is part of a terrible Madrid family secret. It's up to Kasey to go back to Lizzie's world to unlock the secret and clear Lizzie's name."

My Review:   I have grown to really enjoy these Middle Grade historical mysteries that Clark writes. They are fun, based in actual history and always intriguing. I also really appreciated that they are written in the local setting. I really connected with Kasey, being so studious and not so sporty, she is always quick to research and try to uncover the truth. I loved Avo and Ellen, they really added a rich local feel to the story. Lizzie also seemed to keep true to her times and setting in a different century. This is a mystery that needs to be solved and the different elements and levels keep you reading to the last page.
My Rating: I rather enjoyed this book, it was fun and exciting with a lot of different elements to keep you reading. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
Dizzy Miss Lizzie was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about RM Clark and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
You can obtain your own copy of Dizzy Miss Lizzie in print version on Amazon 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Review of The Fighting Ground by Avi

Read for: Audio Challenge, Across the States & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "Jonathan, 13, knows he's ready to fight the British. He can handle a gun. And he yearns to don a uniform and battle for glory, just like his brother and cousin. So on this day when the tavern bell tolls, calling men to arms, Jonathan doesn't ask his father's permission. He simply goes. And to his joy, he's accepted.

In the next twenty-four hours, Jonathan learns what it means to fight, and to be a soldier. He also learns what it's like to meet death face to face.

It's a lesson he will never forget..."

My Review: This book packs quite a punch as you follow Jonathan on a single day during the revolutionary war. He is so eager to fight but you see what a single battle does to open his eyes to the true costs of war and the ugly results. While this takes place so many years ago I think it still has a lot of standing today and still carries an important message.
My Rating: This was an interesting story and I am glad I was able to listen to it on audio.  It was only three hours which fit perfectly into my schedule. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Monday, January 19, 2015

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
Because of Winn-Dixie by Katie DiCamillo
Gooseberry Island by Steven Manchester
Calves in the Mud Room by Jerome O. Brown
The Hat by Jan Brett (Bedtime Story)
Blankets by Craig Thompson (Graphic Novel)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

By The Sea Tess = 3pts
Locking Horns = 3pts
Sweet Child of Mine = 1pt
Duck goes Potty = 1pt
Hickory Daiquiri Dock = 5pts
Poole's Paradise = 3pts
Dragons of Spratt, Ohio = 5pts

Currently Reading:

Deep Dish by Mary Kaye Andrews - Audio - 46%
Stone Bay by Min Edwards - Kindle - 4%

 Books to be Read Soon:

North of Need by Laura Kaye (Re-Read & Series)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (Mount TBR)
If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende (Across the States & Mount TBR)
Darkness by Ciye Cho (Requested Review)

Total Points Earned

Pages Read/ Time Listened
4,872 pages read (1,191 this week)
6:21 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

One of the Guys by Lisa Aldin (Netgalley/Requested Review)
Spawn of Medusa by Mary Bernsen (Netgalley/ Requested Review)



I really can't believe what a month it has been so far, and we still have almost 2 more weeks! At this rate I will be able to finish all my challenges and read a few extras that catch my eye throughout the year.

I am also very happy and proud to say I still haven't purchased any books yet this year! I was sorely tempted while on amazon the other day getting a few crafty items for Munchkin and again over the weekend when at Target picking up a few things (I really wanted to pick up a Valentine's book for Munchkin but I resisted).  I am hoping to hold off until February, at least then I will have enough points to go on a little shopping spree!

I know it was Mini Bloggiesta this last weekend and I would have liked to participate (I have a huge to do list on this blog) but I ended up spending the weekend potty training Munchkin instead. Anyway, you really don't want to hear about that adventure.   But I do have a few things on my mind for the full blown Bloggiesta.  First and foremost is the Archives.  I managed to get it all updated and organized last spring but since then I have read nearly 400 books! I am beginning to questions whether it is worth it to have all the reviews linked on the archive page or if I should just like to my Goodreads reviews (all my links go to the reviews there anyway).  The other thing is I am not thrilled with the layout of the blog, the few times I have gone on from the front I have found it not very user friendly.  So I am wondering if I should go back to my original layout or if I should pay someone to create one for me (I need to research what this would entail and what the cost estimate would be).

So you see, I have a lot on my mind and a lot of reading going on! How was your week?