Saturday, February 15, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Storybook Love, Fables Vol. 3 by Bill Willingham

Synopsis: "In the Fables' world, there isn't a lot of happily-ever-after to go around. As refugees from the lands of make-believe, the Fables have been driven from their storybook realms and forced to blend in with our gritty, mundane reality.

But that doesn't mean they don't have any room for romance—or the pain, betrayal and jealous rage that go along with it. In fact, love may be blooming between two of the most hard-bitten, no-nonsense Fables around. But are they destined for happiness— or a quick and untimely death?"

My Review: I found the story line to this volume to be interesting, it didn't feel as if it involved as much literary references though. Also the illustrations didn't appeal to me, I think it was still the same illustrators but the style just didn't feel the same to me. I did however like the several different story lines that were occurring, but I much preferred the one featuring Bigby and Snow White. I am starting to see some of the alliances and back alley deals and am curious to see what happens in the following volumes.
My Rating: I am enjoying the development of the characters and the fact that there is a little more plot occurring. I did find the few short issues that didn't seem to really pertain to the main story of the volume a little odd. I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Bedtime Story: Goodnight, I Love You by Caroline Jayne Church

Synopsis: "Caroline Jayne Church and her loveable, huggable toddlers are back! A bestselling author and illustrator, Church's books have been enormously successful across all channels, but none of them have done better than her padded board books: I Love You Through and Through and How Do I Love You? Now Church brings us Good Night, I Love You--the quintessential get your children ready for bedtime book. With the charming illustrations that we have come to know and love and wonderful rhyming text, this book will no doubt be a success through and through."

My Review: This is a cute book about two toddlers getting ready for bed. I like the little rhymes and the illustrations are great. It unfortunately didn't capture Munchkin's attention like I Love You Through and Through. Maybe it is because I couldn't really act out a lot of the story because we don't have the same bedtime routine as the story. Hopefully he will come to enjoy it though because it is a very cute and simple bedtime story.
My Rating: I enjoyed this book far more than Munchkin did, but I hope he comes to enjoy it a little more as he grows and can do some of the things the characters were doing. I give it a rating of Three Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!
And a Happy Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

After Dark Review of Tangled Past by Leah Braemel

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Synopsis: "Forced to marry a man she just met, Sarah McLeod clings to the hope that she'll finally find the love and acceptance she's always craved. Her tenuous dreams of a happy life on the frontier are in danger of being dashed by the one thing she can't change—her husband's love for another man.

Jackson Kellar's determined to do right by his bride, yet he's torn between his newfound love for Sarah and his still-burning desire for Nate.

Ranch owner Nate Campbell loves them both. He hates to see Jackson's loyalties so divided, and doesn't want Sarah hurt either. How can they fix the tangled mess they find themselves in? Nate suggests a possible solution—a permanent threesome.

With the open frontier closing in around them, is Nate's solution their path to happiness—or will others destroy what they've found together?"

My Review: The characters in this story are wonderful. I couldn't help but root for all three of the main characters and their relationships. I did find the setting a little odd, the time period just didn't seem to fit with the characters, they felt more modern for some reason but I can see how the other put them in the late 1800s to add a little conflict to the story. I would have also liked a little more story to add to the sex scenes, because it felt like Sarah spent most of her time in the bedroom but you knew that wasn't possible again considering the time period and setting, I just wanted more of her interactions with Jackson outside the bedroom. All that said I thought it was a well done story that kept me reading until I was done.

Note This story features several sex scenes including M/F, M/M & M/M/F
My Rating: While I found the setting a bit off, I quickly forgot about it and became involved with the characters. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Review of Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim & Charles Fay

Synopsis: "Parenting little ones can be exhausting...until you discover Love and Logic. Take the exhaustion out and put the fun into parenting your little one. If you want help with:
Potty training. Temper tantrums. Bedtime. Whining . Time-out. Hassle-free mornings. and many other everyday challenges, then this book is for you! This book is the tool parents of little ones have been waiting for. America's Parenting Experts Jim and Charles Fay, Ph.D., help you start your child off on the right foot. The tools in Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood will give you the building blocks you need to create children who grow up to be responsible, successful teens and adults. And as a bonus you will enjoy every stage of your child's life and look forward to sharing a lifetime of joy with them."

My Review: I have really mixed feelings about this book. As my Husband and I are discovering, Munchkin has a very strong personality and we need to try some new things before he gets any older. Love and Logic was suggested to us by many friends and family. I thought this would be a book that really applied to where we are currently. I found the book jumped around in the methods a lot, there were a lot of examples and techniques for preschool aged kids. I would have found it much easier if they had laid it out starting with infants and toddlers so that as we are ready for new techniques we could just read the next chapter as we applied them. Honestly, there wasn't as much help for the younger toddlers other than the "uhoh song". I also found that for a book promoting a parenting method called Love and Logic that it got rather pushy and dramatic. I got a lot of if you don't use this method your kid is going to end up doing drugs, in jail, pregnant or dead which really put me off. The good thing was that I had already be using a lot of their methods on my own prior to reading the book so it did give me some satisfaction that as a first time parent I was moving a good direction and not completely out of my mind.
My Rating: While I don't agree with the delivery this book contained or the organization, the methods are good (especially as I had already been using many of them).  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Review of Listening is an Act of Love by Dave Isay

Synopsis: "From more than ten thousand interviews, StoryCorps-the largest oral history project in the nation's history-presents a tapestry of American stories, told by the people who lived them to the people they love.

StoryCorps began with the idea that everyone has an important story to tell. And since 2003, this remarkable project has been collecting the stories of everyday Americans and preserving them for future generations. In New York City and in mobile recording booths traveling the country-from small towns to big cities, at Native American reservations and an Army post-StoryCorps is collecting the memories of Americans from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life. The project represents a wondrous nationwide celebration of our shared humanity, capturing for posterity the stories that define us and bind us together.

In Listening Is an Act of Love, StoryCorps founder and legendary radio producer Dave Isay selects some of the most remarkable stories from the already vast collection and arranges them thematically into a moving portrait of American life. The voices here connect us to real people and their lives-to their experiences of profound joy, sadness, courage and despair, to good times and hard times, to good deeds and misdeeds.

To read this book is to be reminded of how rich and varied the American storybook truly is, how resistant to easy categorization or caricature. Above all, this book honors the gift each StoryCorps participant has made, from the raw material of his or her life, to the Americans who will come after. We are our history, individually and collectively, and Listening Is an Act of Love touchingly reminds us of this powerful truth."

My Review: I LOVE this book! I love the concept of StoryCorps and the way they put this book together. I feel like I got a secret glimpse into all these different lives. Some of the stories make you giggle, some make you cry and some just break your heart. This is not only something I want to do some day with my family but something I want to participate in, if it is still running when I retire, I want to be one of the moderators. I want to travel and be a piece of recording individual's stories.
My Rating: I love this book and I hope many of you will pick up a copy for yourselves.  There are personal stories that will speak to everyone it this book and it would be a great book to just read a story or two a day.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Monday, February 10, 2014

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

Lie by Rathan Krueger
Table for Two by ER Pierce (After Dark)
I Love You All Year Long by Steve Metzger (Bedtime Story)

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

The Lover From Hell
Listening is an Act of Love
Still Alice
Love, Lust and Letters
Hard as it Gets

Currently Reading:

Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein - PB - on Page 138 of 310
One Shark, No Swim by Lehua Parker - Kindle - 15%
100 Cupboards by ND Wilson - PB - on Page 35 of 289

 Books to be Read Soon:
Water Harvest by Eric Diehl (Requested Review)
Knightmare by Deborah Valentine (Requested Review)
The Owl Keeper by Christine Brodein-Jones (Mount TBR)
Stone Cold Revenge by Jess Macallan (Mount TBR)


Another busy week this week, and another snow day stuck in the house with a busy toddler. I miss the days when I could just sit at home and read in peace sometimes. That said I did get quite a bit of reading done and I am happy with that and I have some books coming up that I am super anxious to get to reading.  Not to mention I have the Big Book Club Getaway in less than 2 weeks and I want to read some of the more recent releases by some of the authors I will get a chance to meet.

I painted my nails on Monday since it was such a busy weekend with the Super Bowl party. I found this polish in THIS Esty shop and was very excited to try it out. It is called Budding Love and is a thermal polish that turns pink when cold and white when warm.