Saturday, July 19, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of Flight Vol. 1 by various authors

Synopsis: "Flight Volume One features stories by professionals and non-professionals alike, all playing on the theme of flight in its many incarnations. From the maiden voyage of a home-built plane to the adventures of a young courier and his flying whale to a handful of stories about coming of age and letting things go, this first volume of Flight is full of memorable tales that will both amaze and inspire."

my Review: This was an interesting and new take on graphic novels for me. I had never read an anthology graphic novel before and I must admit that I rather enjoyed it. At times it was fun to flit from one story on to the next but then again at times I wanted to continue a story. There was definitely something for everyone's taste within this volume, either story or artwork, there was quite a wide selection of each.
My Rating: I think this is a great way to break into Graphic Novels, you can discover authors and artists you want to follow and those whose styles don't suit you.  I also like the different interpretations of flight.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Bedtime Story: The Crown on Your Head by Nancy Tillman

Synopsis: "We know our children are special, and now the incomparable Nancy Tillman expresses this universal feeling in the most touching of ways: Every child is born with a crown. The crown is everything that gives us unique value. Our crown will always be with us wherever we go, whatever we do."

My Review: I have been a big Nancy Tillman fan ever since I discovered Wherever You Are My Love Will Find You and have snatched up every book I have come across. Unfortunately, this one wasn't on the level I normally expect from her. The sentences didn't seem to flow like usual, I found myself having to pause and re-read the sentence several times to myself to try to catch that usual rhyme and flow. The images were very similar to the other books and Munchkin still really enjoyed the animals, though there were fewer than in our favorites of hers. Still a good message but just not quite what I have come to expect.
My Rating: This one just didn't work for us like Tillman's other stories.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

After Dark Review of Surrounded by Temptations by Mandy Harbin

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: "When Krista needs Ariel’s biochemical expertise because her new boyfriend can turn into a mountain lion, Ariel thinks her sister has lost her mind. But the possibility of a major discovery like this is too much of a temptation to ignore. Create a drug to stop a shifter from forcing a mating? Only if she got to test his sexual limits herself.

Rob thinks Ariel is an angel in disguise, and he immediately knows she’s the one for him. But is he strong enough to resist his animal’s need to claim her once the temptation begins?"

My Review: Another great book in the series, just not my favorite. I really love the animalistic nature and instinct of Harbin's characters. I appreciate Ariel's clinical look but kind of wanted more of that analytical look at the Woods. While Ariel may not be my favorite character I really enjoyed her dominant and bossy behavior, it was nice to see a girl take charge of these guys for a change. The one thing in this book was that I found myself not liking Krista as much, or really Toby for that matter, I almost felt like they had completely different personalities. That said I still enjoyed this book greatly and can't wait to read the more.
My Rating: I still love this series even though the characters weren't my favorites, but one thing you can count on is a lot of raw animalistic instincts and a lot of steam.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Review of The Well of Being by Jean-Pierre Weill

Synopsis: "The Well of Being: a children's book for adults is an illustrated inquiry into the pursuit of happiness, and what it means to be radically alive in our daily moments. This adult picture book takes its reader on a quest for well‐being and self‐acceptance, following the story of a wondering everyman. The projective tale summons the reader’s inner child as a complimentary vehicle to drive the plot through bold reflection and earnest doubt. Assisted by cosmic perspective, the faceless protagonist sets out to retrieve the deep self-comfort and inner wellness lost along life's way."

My Review: This book was sent to me for an honest review.
I wasn't sure how much I would enjoy this book but upon finally reading it, I can't believe I put it off. It reads like a mesh of a children's book and graphic novel (not the super hero type though). The simple words combined with unique illustrations really hit perfectly. The wonderful thing about this book is that it can be read in so many ways, it can be read from a religious point of view, or a new age zen like point of view, or even just a simple bring back the joy point of view. It provokes a lot of deep thought that you can follow if you like or just enjoy the simple message it presents.
My Rating: This was a wonderful book, one I really enjoyed. It is a simple read that really evokes a lot of thought and emotion. I give it a rating of Four Paws!
The Well of Being was sent to me for an honest review.
To find out more about Jean-Pierre Weill and his work visit his Goodreads Page or Website.
You can purchase your own copy in print format on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Review of Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

Synopsis: "The story of marriage, family, and forgiveness that has become not just a bestseller but an instant classic.

Their story begins with one letter on their wedding night, a letter from the groom, promising to write his bride every week—for as long they both shall live.

Thirty-nine years later, Jack and Laurel Cooper die in each other's arms. And when their grown children return to the family B&B to arrange the funeral, they discover thousands of letters.

The letters they read tell of surprising joys and sorrows. They also hint at a shocking family secret—and ultimately force the children to confront a life-changing moment of truth . ."

My Review: You can always count on Wright to put together an emotional story that has an impact. While this may not have been quite what I was expecting, it was still a very good story. While I didn't connect with the characters as well as I usually do, I did really love and connect with the storyline itself. I love the concept and thought it was well written, not all the letters were flowery and lovely, they at times as with life, were short and mundane. These letters also revealed to those left behind the many levels and dramatics of life that created who Jack and Laurel became in life.
My Rating: Wednesday Letter was a good story, just not quite what I expected. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Monday, July 14, 2014

What's For Dinner This Week? (15)

What's for Dinner This Week is a little insight into my life for you every Monday night. I carefully plan out meals for the week ahead of time and do my shopping over the weekend.  So I wanted to start sharing with you one of the recipes or dinners I am most looking forward to each week.
I was again on Pinterest searching for simple recipes for this week. As most of you know, my Hubby works an opposite schedule from me so I am on my own every night trying to cook while dealing with Munchkin (who is usually over tired and starving by the time I get him home from daycare).  Usually once or twice a week Hubby will cook something before he leaves for work, but this week he is working an extra job in the mornings and will be unable to do so.  That means this week I need a few very easy and quick recipes that will please both Munchkin and Hubby and provide plenty of left overs.
I came across this recipe for a one pot pasta dish and whipped it up last night.
image from Pinterest
Munchkin still has a hard time with long pasta so I used bowties instead
and this is what it looked like all finished
It was a little watery but I figured it would absorb in the leftovers for lunch (which it did). 
There were a couple of things I would change though, first while this was insanely simple (chop everything and then throw it in a pan) I think it needed more, it was a little bland for our tastes.  So I would first sauté the mushrooms and garlic in olive oil, and add in a shallot.  I would then deglaze with 1/2 cup white wine before adding the rest of the ingredients (and maybe only add 3 1/2 cups of water) and I would definitely add more spices like garlic powder, onion powder, and maybe parsley towards the end.
All in all it was a pretty tasty dish and Munchkin loved the peas and zucchini.

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

Evertaster by Adam Glendon Sidwell
Contrails by Robert Anderson
Surrounded by Pleasure by Mandy Harbin (After Dark)
The Very Best Daddy of All by Marion Dane Bauer (Bedtime Story)

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

We Bought a Zoo
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Lady Danger
Tickle Time
Currently Reading:

Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff - PB - on page 35 of 272
Cabin Fever by Diana Hunter - PB - on page 89 of 272
Dakota Home by Debbie Macomber - PB - on page 63 of 368

 Books to be Read Soon:
Hard as You Can by Laura Kaye
Dakota Always by Debbie Macomber
Buffalo Valley by Debbie Macomber
Visions of a Revolution by Jeffery Minucci (Requested Review)
Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery by RM Clark (Requested Review)
Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus by Kate O'Hearn



For some reason I didn't get as much read this week as I have been lately. I think it is because I was trying to push through several books that I just wasn't enjoying. Thankfully I did manage to pick up a book afterwards that has inspired me to read more again.  I really hate when you hit a streak of not so great books and it puts a damper on reading.