Saturday, August 20, 2016

Graphic Novel Review of Threat of Peace: Star Wars Old Republic Vol. 2 by Rob Chestney

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge
Synopsis: "A look at the era of "Star Wars: The Old Republic," written by one of the writers behind LucasArts and BioWare's massive multiplayer online game, "Threat of Peace" unveils a galaxy on the brink of destruction three hundred years after the events of "Knights of the Old Republic"!
For decades, the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire have been at war. The Sith have gained control of the Outer Rim, but their efforts to penetrate the Core Worlds have so far been thwarted. Now, representatives from both sides attempt to negotiate a peace treaty--but deception by the Sith puts the Jedi in an unfortunate position.
Collects "Star Wars: The Old Republic" #1-#27, which appeared originally online at
Bonus behind-the-scenes content found nowhere else!
Written by Rob Chestney, one of the writers behind the game!
Critical events prior to LucasArts and BioWare's massive multiplayer online game!
Discover "more" of the newest "Star Wars" era!"

My Review: As much as I love Star Wars and the settings of this GN and even the art in this one, I am not impressed. This was a rather short GN but it definitely need to be longer. You are constantly jumping around to different storylines and nothing is really all that clear. You can get the main gist of what is going on but you know there is a lot more underlying plot lines that just aren't clear. I have the last volume in this set but am starting to think that these epic storylines are better off left in full length novels and movies.
My Rating: I love the vast variety of characters that can be created in the Star Wars world and the art work in this one is really good but the storyline is just too jumbled up. I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bedtime Story: The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

Read For: Children's Book Challenge & we love Elephant & Piggie books
Synopsis: "Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.

Gerald and Piggie are best friends.

In The Thank You Book!, Piggie wants to thank EVERYONE. But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone . . . someone important."

My Review: This is another great Elephant and Piggie book and a great reminder to little ones about thanking people. It is also a great reminder for everyone that sometimes we forget to thank those nearest to us. Munchkin and I also had a blast with all the different voices through out the book, I am assuming many of them are characters in other books in the series.
My Rating: This is a great reminder to say thank you even for the smallest of things. We haven't read many of the Elephant & Piggie books so didn't recognize most of the characters but it was still great to read.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!
Note: I just recently discovered this is the last book that is going to be released in the Elephant and Piggie series :(
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Monsters One to Ten by Emily Thompson

Read for: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "Learning to read is as easy (and fun) as one, two, three! (Reading Level Pre 1)"

My Review: This is a very basic counting book. It is listed as a pre-level 1 but I think it would be better suited as a children's picture book or board book. By the time you are looking at level reader books chances are your young one will be beyond this book. The one fun thing was all the familiar Sesame Street characters throughout the book, but again Munchkin was a little board with it (he is counting up to 30 now so 10 is not nearly challenging enough even with learning sight words).
My Rating: Unfortunately this book just wasn't for us, this book is more suited to board book/picture book readers.  We give it a rating of Two Paws.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Pen to Paper: Outgoing Mail

Hello everyone, I am back.  Sorry about last week I was so wrapped up in the Olympics that I totally spaced on writing up blog posts!  Anyway, it has been some time since I shared a picture of outgoing or incoming mail, so I figured it was about time. I see beautiful pictures of mail all the time on pinterest, blogs and instagram, I may have to make an attempt to better layout my mail.
So this was all my outgoing mail from August 4th I think. I was so busy in July that I didn't really send much out so this was a lot of catch up letters.  5 letters to international pen pals, 2 letters to Stateside pen pals and 4 postcrossing postcards. It was one busy mail day! I have already gotten a few responses back too! Another big mail day coming up soon!
Next week I will share some pictures of incoming mail, and will try to get better pictures because my pen pals send some beautiful letters with such nice handwriting and lovely little goodies.
Have you sent anything in the mail lately? Or received anything? I would love to hear about it or see it!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Review of Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

Read for: Because the darn book wouldn't stop calling to me!
Synopsis: "A charming novel about falling in love (or like) in the digital age—the never-before-seen full story

Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City restaurant opening. Flirtation—online—ensues. A romance, potentially eternal, possibly doomed, begins.

And, like most things in life today, their early exchanges are available to be scrutinized and interpreted by well-intentioned friends who are a mere click away.

Madeline and Elliot's relationship unfolds through a series of thrilling, confounding, and funny exchanges with each other, and, of course, with their best friends and dubious confidants (Emily and David). The result is a brand-new kind of modern romantic comedy, in format, in content, and even in creation—the authors exchanged e-mails in real time, blind to each other's side conversations. You will nod in appreciation and roll your eyes in recognition; you'll learn a thing or two about how the other half approaches a new relationship . . . and you will cheer for an unexpected ending that just might restore your faith in falling in love, twenty-first-century style."

My Review: I received this book in the July 2016 BookCase Club subscription box, I had never heard of it before but it sounded intriguing. I put it on the shelf with the intention of continuing with my original reading plans but this book just kept calling to me. I picked it up at 10pm one night to just read a few pages and ended up finishing it by midnight! It was such a fun and fast read, it was highly entertaining and made me laugh several times. I really love the format of this this book, it is written in epistolary style (written in letter format or documents) using a series of emails and text messages between 4 characters, not only that but upon reading the author note the two authors physically sent those emails as their characters without reading the side emails between the main characters and the other two. I know that sounds confusing but once you pick up the book it will make perfect sense. I did foresee the ending but it was still so much fun getting there that I didn't even mind the predictability. Really this is such a fun book and a perfect summer read!
My Rating: This was such a fun read and it was exactly what I needed after several intense fantasy novels. It was fun, quirky, easy and short.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Tasty Attempts: Turkey Bacon Ranch Sliders

I am now posting Tasty Attempts every other Tuesday. The posts will include a variety of recipes, maybe some of them turn out tasty, maybe others are failed attempts.
As you know, I am always on the hunt for simple dinner ideas and lately Munchkin has been a little picky but one thing he has been eating is sandwiches. So I wanted to make a sandwich for dinner that was just a little bit more. On pinterest I found a recipe for this Turkey Bacon Ranch Slider.  I did adjust the recipe slightly and used deli turkey instead of cooked turkey leftovers because it was easier.  I also attempted to make bacon in the oven for the first time (and wow it is so much easier and less of a mess!).
Munchkin did really like the sandwich but he wasn't much of a fan of the sesame seeds on top (but he did eat it - Win!). I also made us small salads to go with it and he ate that too!  This was a quick and easy meal (I think it would be great for parties since it made nearly a dozen in one go).

Review of The Tale of Oriel by Cynthia Voigt

Read for: Mount TBR Print & Series Challenge
Synopsis: "The prospect of freedom is weighted with danger in this tale of high adventure, the third book in the Tales of the Kingdom series from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Voigt.

Oriel has always stood out as someone who would not bend. No matter how much he has had to endure, the Damall’s cruelty cannot corrupt him. Griff, a boy who has watched and admired Oriel, is the opposite. He has learned to keep out of sight, to bow in the face of force. Yet the two became friends, and together they escaped from the terrors of the island and take with them the Damall’s most prized relic—the beryl, a green gemstone engraved with a falcon, its wings unfolding. But as they seek a new life, it’s not as easy as they’d hoped, for ahead lie raiding Wolfers, rival armies, and unspeakable dangers...

Previously published as Wings of a Falcon, this classic tale features a new look and a new title."

My Review: This is another very slow paced fantasy book, I did struggle to get into this book for a good portion of it. There is a lot of things going on in the book and the story moves along well but the style of writing is very observant and quiet. It also takes place several years after the previous book in the series, there are 2 generations between then end of the previous book and this one and it starts off in a place that is unfamiliar. The story did really pick up about 2/3rds of the way through and I really didn't want to put it down because there were so many twists happening I couldn't even image what would happen next. The ending was particularly surprising to me and it was a joy to read a book that offers surprises even if it was quite a journey to get there.
My Rating: While it really took me a while to get into this book, once I did it really was enthralling. I want to also note this book has a male protagonist as opposed to the girls of the previous two books which made for an interesting shift too.  I give this one a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Magic Tree House Monday: Book 29 - High Tide in Hawaii

Welcome to Magic Tree House Monday!

Each Monday (other than when special events are planned) I will review one book of the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne.
Book 28 takes Jack and Annie to Hawaii to learn the last piece of magic for their new Magician role. They learn a lot and try new things on the island but did they learn enough to avoid danger and learn a new form of magic to complete the quest Morgan sent them on?
My Review: Another very enjoyable book in this series. I like how Annie is so fearless and upbeat but Jack is so tentative and analytical, the make a great pair. This book particularly highlighted their differences. A great part was when there is something that Jack knows he won't really like but tries it anyway is a great way for kids to learn to try something new. But also Jack's preference for research and reading really is the key to everything in this book to also encourage young readers to keep up with the things they enjoy even if it isn't what everyone else is doing.
My Rating: I really enjoyed this one and like the way that Jack and Annie's characters are starting to develop a little bit more. I am looking forward to the next book which progresses the series into the Merlin Missions which are geared towards a slightly older audience.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

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

Thanksgiving on Thursday by Mary Pope Osborne (Magic Tree House)
Starfire by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez
Baby Dolphin's First Day by Peter and Connie Roop (Early Reader)
I am Sharing by Mercer Mayer (Bedtime Story)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

High Tide in Hawaii - 5pts
Angel of Fire - 3pts
Read Bottom Up - 5pts
Gruffalo's Child - 1pt
David Gets In Trouble - 1pt
Brave Firefighters - 1pt
Currently Reading:

 Books to be Read Soon:

Tale of Elske by Cynthia Voigt
HeartMate Series by Robin D. Owens

Total Points Earned
  185 points + 16 points + 10 points for 24 hours listened = 211 points

Total Points Earned this Year: 906
Total Points Spent this Year: 699

Pages Read/ Time Listened
174:18 Hours Listened (7:34 listened this week)
31,182 Pages Read (431 this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


Thank goodness, we are all healthy here again and just before it became so insanely hot and humid too! I must admit it was a pretty slow reading week for me because I got a little wrapped up in the Olympics! I have watch more TV in the past week than I have in the entire past 6 months. More importantly preseason Football has also started and draft day nears for fantasy. I am last year's champion and I want another killer season this year so there is a lot of research going on!

I hope you are all staying cool in this summer heat (at least up here in the northern hemisphere).