Saturday, February 21, 2015

Graphic Novel Review of Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman

Synopsis: "A quartet of fallen mystics dubbed the "TrenchCoat Brigade" is introduced in this first collection of the adventures of Timothy Hunter. John Constantine, the Phantom Stranger, Dr. Occult, and Mister E take Hunter on a tour of the magical realms. Along the way he's introduced to Vertigo's greatest practitioners of magic and must choose whether or not to join their ranks."

My Review: I was not a fan of this one. The illustrations were too busy, the storyline was busy and difficult to follow. If this is the normal style of Neil Gaiman graphic novels then I am glad I haven't invested money in them. The only thing I enjoyed about this was the little Owl/Yo-Yo, sad but true.
My Rating: I was not thrilled with this one at all and I will have to think very carefully before purchasing anymore of Gaiman's work. This one gets a rating of One Paw.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Bedtime Story: Five Little Penguins Slipping on Ice by Steve Metzger

Synopsis: ""Five little penguins slipping on the ice. One fell down. Ouch! That's not nice!" Oh, no! Now there are only four penguins left! What will mother do?"

My Review: This is simply a winter version of monkeys jumping on the bed. It has that same simple song like rhythm and phrases. It is a good one for counting and maybe a little bit of outdoor activities and using caution. Munchkin enjoyed counting the penguins but it hasn't been one he reaches for to read again.
My Rating: It was an okay book, just something that has been seen before. We give it a rating of Two Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Brave Dragon by William Scollon

Synopsis: "While playing with Doc and the other toys, Stuffy takes a spill in the park and gets covered in prickly burrs. Doc fixes him up, but something is not right...Stuffy doesn't want to play! Can Doc help Stuffy become a brave dragon once again? Find out in this Level Pre-1 reader!"

My Review: This is a great beginning reader pre level book. It has simple sentences with the images mimicking the actions in the sentences. Of course there are also the favorite characters from the show that helps keep little kids attention. This is a great book to start reading on their own.
My Rating: This was a great pre-1 level book, some great sight words to kick things off.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

After Dark Review of West of Want by Laura Kaye

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 ;)
Read For: Series Challenge & Mount TBR Challenge
Synopsis: "Betrayal is all he's ever known, but in her, he'll find a love strong enough to be trusted...

When Marcella Raines' twin brother dies, she honors his request to be buried at sea, never expecting the violent storm that swamps her boat. Though she's gravely injured--and still emotionally damaged from her recent divorce--Ella fights to survive.

Zephyros Martius is the Supreme God of the West Wind and Spring, but being the strongest Anemoi hasn't protected him from betrayal and loss. Worse, he's sure his brother Eurus is behind it. When Zeph's heartbreak whips up a storm that shipwrecks a human, his guilt forces him to save her.

Ella is drawn to the vulnerability Zeph hides beneath his otherworldly masculinity and ancient blue eyes. And her honesty, empathy, and unique, calming influence leave Zeph wanting...everything. When Eurus threatens Ella, she and Zeph struggle to let go of the past, defend their future, and embrace what they most want--a love that can be trusted."

My Review: This series just got better, my re-read of North of Need wasn't as thrilling as I had hoped but this one picked it back up. I enjoyed the characters personalities and back stories, it really added to the storyline. I feel like it wasn't really all that connected to the first book in the series but I can see a development of a series long storyline with this one. The ups and downs of the story kept me reading late into the night because I just had to know what happened next all the way to the end.
My Rating: This was definitely a good one that brought me back into the series. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Review of Don't Forget Me Bro by John Michael Cummings

Synopsis: "DON’T FORGET ME, BRO deals with themes of childhood abuse, mental
illness, and alienated families. The book opens with the main
character, forty-two-year-old Mark Barr, who has returned home from New
York to West Virginia after eleven years for his older brother Steve’s
funeral. Steve, having died of a heart attack at forty-five, was
mentally ill most of his adult life, though Mark has always questioned
what was "mentally ill" and what was the result of their father’s
verbal and physical abuse during their childhood.

The book unfolds into an odyssey for Mark to discover love for his
brother posthumously in a loveless family.

DON’T FORGET ME, BRO is a portrait of an oldest brother’s supposed
mental illness and unfulfilled life, as well as a redeeming tale of a
youngest brother’s alienation from his family and his guilt for
abandoning them."

My Review: I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. I have read several books over the years dealing with mental illness (thanks to the Mental Illness Advocacy Challenge) so have read some dark and depressing books at times. This one claimed to be uplifting in the end but for me there was very little uplifting. It is very dark, dealing with a lot of depression, abuse and mental illness with very little signs of trying to treat, better or right these situations. It got so depressing at times that I had to stop reading for several days. There are books that can be depressing but in a good way, this wasn't one of those. In my opinion it was a little overly descriptive of non-essential items, and there was a lot of rambling nonsense that took away from the story as a whole. I guess this may not have been the book for me.
My Rating: I did expect there to be some sadness and depression while reading this book but unfortunately I had none of the emotional connections or reactions to be expected.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.
This book was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Mr. Cummings and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
If this sounds like a book you would enjoy you can get a print copy from Amazon on March 29th.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Audio Review of Deep Dish by Mary Kay Andrews

Read for: Audio Challenge, Mount TBR & Across the States
Synopsis: "After years of hard work, Gina Foxton, chef extraordinaire and former runner-up Miss Teen Vidalia Onion, is hosting her own show, Fresh Start, on Georgia public television. She's also dating the producer. But when Fresh Start goes bad—and her boyfriend is caught in flagrante delicto with the boss's wife—Gina decides it's time to pursue bigger dreams. Namely a gig on national television.

Gina knows she's destined to be the Cooking Channel's next superstar. But the execs also have their eyes on Tate Moody, Mr. "Kill It and Grill It" himself, host of the hunting, fishing, and cooking show Vittles. The ultimate man's man, Tate is a tasty side of beef with a large, swooning female fan base. Gina's loyal devotees consist of her free-spirited college-dropout sister and her mother . . . who calls every single day.

When the smoke clears there can be only one TV chef standing, and Gina and Tate are ready for the cook-off of their lives."

My Review: I listened to the audio version of this one and really enjoyed the narrator, she did a great job with the various voices and the accent. It did take me a while to get into this one, I really didn't like Gina at first, she seemed a little arrogant but clueless. The story really started picking up steam when they got to the food fight. I loved the back and forth between Tate & Gina and the odd characters that seem to surround them all the time. Getting to the last 2 hours (6 hour read) I really didn't want to stop listening.
My Rating: For a little bit of a rocky start, I really got into this one and enjoyed it. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Monday, February 16, 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
 Birth by Lehua Parker
Darkness by Ciye Cho
North of Need by Laura Kaye (After Dark)
Sweet Child of Mine by Caroline Jayne Church (Bedtime Story)
The Last Valentine by James Michael Pratt (Audio Review)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Don't Forget Me Bro = 3pts
More Than Pancakes = 5pts
Fish Perfume = 5pts
Elmo Says = 1pt
Out of this World = 1pt
Potty Time = 1pt
Potty Time with Elmo = 1pt
Polar Bear Polar Bear What Do You Hear = 1pt
Reading Between the Lines = 3pts
I'll Never Forget= 3pts
From This Point Forward = 3pts
Risking it All = 3pts
East of Ecstasy = 3pts
Mouse Guard Winter 1152 = 2pts

Currently Reading:

 Books to be Read Soon:

Toe to Toe by Sammie Grace (Mount TBR/Rhode Island Authors)
The Queen's Dagger by Merilee Andelin Saunders (Requested Review)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (Mount TBR)


Total Points Earned
 -22 (35 earned this week + 5 bonus for completing a series & 10 bonus for reading 10K pages)

Pages Read/ Time Listened
10,136 pages read (2,037 this week)
16:17 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

One Night of Sin by Elle Kennedy - BookBub Freebie
Heart of a Hero by Billi Tinner - BookBub Freebie

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Boy oh boy another snowy week last week, so I ended up being stuck in the house again! Unfortunately, this no longer means a day filled with relaxing and reading, instead it is filled with puzzles, playdough, potty trips, movies I have seen again and again, trucks and occasionally a book, a children's book that is.  So I totally boycotted cleaning the house and focused on reading as much as possible after Munchkin headed to bed. It is a good thing too since I am still in the hole with points (but it was so worth it).

Of course, today is a holiday too so another day at home. We can't even really play in the snow, Munchkin would get lost the piles are so high. Thankfully it is going to be a quiet week in the office (if I can actually get there) so I will be reading away and scheduling posts!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Crafty Times: Valentine's Fun with Munchkin

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!
Valentine's Day was yesterday but earlier in the week was Munchkin's party at daycare. I had big plans for the party but only was able to squeeze two ideas in.
First we made slime for his classmates.  I found a fun slime pin on Pinterest (HEREis the simple recipe we used, with water, liquid starch and glitter glue).
Started out stirring
then got our hands good and messy
it was squishy and fun.
Ours didn't turn out as nice, it was much more runny and clumpy so we know next time to stir more.
I also wanted him to have something special to wear and I found some cute transfers from Scrapendipity Designs on Etsy.
He ended up wearing the truck to his party Thursday, kisses on Friday and the alphabet one on Saturday.