Saturday, June 3, 2017

Graphic Novel Review of The Sculptor by Scott McCloud

Read for: Tome Topple & Graphic Novel Challenge
Synopsis: "David Smith is giving his life for his art—literally. Thanks to a deal with Death, the young sculptor gets his childhood wish: to sculpt anything he can imagine with his bare hands. But now that he only has 200 days to live, deciding what to create is harder than he thought, and discovering the love of his life at the 11th hour isn't making it any easier!

This is a story of desire taken to the edge of reason and beyond; of the frantic, clumsy dance steps of young love; and a gorgeous, street-level portrait of the world's greatest city. It's about the small, warm, human moments of everyday life…and the great surging forces that lie just under the surface. Scott McCloud wrote the book on how comics work; now he vaults into great fiction with a breathtaking, funny, and unforgettable new work."

My Review: I picked this one up for the Tome Topple Readathon, I didn't know too much going into it other than it had a theme of art. I have really enjoyed art themed graphic novels before. While it does have a very strong element of art and revolves a lot around the struggle to be inspired, create and say something important through art so it is visible, I found that the main theme of the book was more mental illness. There were some very stunning and powerful statements made throughout the book, many of which will make you pause to ponder them. With that said, it wasn't my favorite graphic novels. I wasn't really all that happy with how Meg's mental illness was portrayed or how her character as a whole was written. I am happy I took the time to read it but I don't know if I would read it again.
My Rating: This was an interesting read, I know a lot of people really enjoyed this one but for some reason it really rubbed me the wrong way.  It did have some beautiful moments in it and I do appreciate some of the statements made but it just didn't work for me as a whole.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Bedtime Story: Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan

Read for: Children's Book Challenge
Synopsis: "It's evening in the forest and Little Owl wakes up from his day-long sleep to watch his friends enjoying the night. Hedgehog sniffs for mushrooms, Skunk nibbles at berries, Frog croaks, and Cricket sings. A full moon rises and Little Owl can't understand why anyone would want to miss it. Could the daytime be nearly as wonderful? Mama Owl begins to describe it to him, but as the sun comes up, Little Owl falls fast asleep.

Putting a twist on the bedtime book, Little Owl's Night is sure to comfort any child with a curiosity about the night."

My Review: Munchkin has been learning about nocturnal animals at school and this was a great way to bridge the gap from school to home. We enjoyed this book and he loved pointing out the animals he knew were active at night. I really liked the illustration style, it was a little blocky but full of color. This would be great for kids learning about night animals or just those young ones needing a soothing bedtime story.
My Rating: Munchkin really enjoyed this one and I like how it worked well with what he was learning at school.  It is also a nice easy read and perfect for bedtime.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Early Reader Review of Transformer Rescue Bots: Team of Heroes by Jennifer Fox

Read for: Early Reader Challenge
Synopsis: "With the Rescue Bots partnering up with the Burns family to protect and serve the good people of Griffin Rock, the Transformers get to see first hand what being a hero is all about. Meet the humans behind the Autobots as they fight fires, crime, and other dangers. This level 1 reader is illustrated with stills from the hit TV show! © Hasbro"

My Review: This was one of the last books in the bind up of Level 1 Transformer Rescue Bot books, but honestly it probably should have been the first book in the set. It introduces us to the team and how they came to be working with humans. The sentences and words to look for are also easier than many of the books before. With that said as a book by itself it is a great level one book, young readers should be able to at least read most of it on their own, the words and sentences are easy and if they are a fan of the show they will be familiar with the characters and storyline. Munchkin of course loves this and the whole Rescue Bots series of books.
My Rating: Munchkin really loves these books and even though he isn't quite reading these on his own yet, he still likes to go through and identify the words he does know.  This is a great level one reader, I just suggest this being the first book in the set you read.  We give it a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Review of The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Synopsis: "From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Little Paris Bookshop, an extraordinary novel about self-discovery and new beginnings.

Marianne is stuck in a loveless, unhappy marriage. After forty-one years, she has reached her limit, and one evening in Paris she decides to take action. Following a dramatic moment on the banks of the Seine, Marianne leaves her life behind and sets out for the coast of Brittany, also known as the end of the world.

Here she meets a cast of colorful and unforgettable locals who surprise her with their warm welcome, and the natural ease they all seem to have, taking pleasure in life s small moments. And, as the parts of herself she had long forgotten return to her in this new world, Marianne learns it s never too late to begin the search for what life should have been all along.

With all the buoyant charm that made The Little Paris Bookshop a beloved bestseller, The Little French Bistro is a tale of second chances and a delightful embrace of the joys of life in France."

My Review:  Adult contemporary in not my normal reading genre, but I find myself craving a book or two in late spring and early summer. I haven't read The Little Paris Bookshop but thought I would give this one a try anyway as it had me a little intrigued. It took quite a while to build some steam after grabbing you with an intense scene right away. Much of the first half of the book is observing Marianne's internal turmoil and lack luster marriage. Once it gets going though you are introduced to a barrage of unique and quirky characters that you can't help but adore and want the best for by the end. Those characters also introduce you to the local lore and superstitions which add such an interesting wrapping for the life lessons hinted at all through the story. It is quite the journey that makes you stop and think about your journey through life and your own value to yourself, about whether you are holding yourself back or reaching for everything you can be, about giving and receiving love. My favorite quote was "Happiness is loving what we need and needing what we love - and obtaining it".
My Rating: While this wasn't my normal reading genre and it wasn't a book that I just couldn't put down, it was a very enjoyable and enlightening read.  I adored the characters and their journey.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
I received this book through Penguin's First to Read program in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about Nina George and her work on her Goodread Page or Website.
The Little French Bistro is schedule to be released on June 13th, 2017 but you can pre-order your copy in all formats from Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Challenge Update - April & May 2017

Wow these last two months have flown by, so fast that I missed my update for April and almost missed my update for May.  I am a little behind in my reviews so some won't have links yet, but check back to my main challenge page in about a week or so.
So here are the books I read along with the challenges. (I have decided to just list the books read each month instead of full lists because it gets a little long towards the end of the year. If you want to see all the books I have read this year you can check out my challenges page).

Children's Book Challenge
27. Supertruck
28. A Little Book About Safety
29. The Pups Save the Bunnies
30. My Friend is Sad
31. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes
32. Giggle, Giggle, Quack
33. Ten Rules of Being a Superhero
34. Fire Engine No. 9
35. Little Owl's Night
36. Little Owl's Day

Early Reader Challenge
16. The Garden that We Grew
17. The Little Duck
18. Miss Bindergarten and the Very Wet Day
19. A Day in the Life of a Firefighter
20. Transformer Rescue Bots: Meet Quickshadow
21. Otis's Busy Day
22. The Colorful Story of Comics
23. Transformer Rescue Bots: Meet Boulder the Construction Bot
24. Transfomer Rescue Bots: Meet Chase the Police Bot
25. Transformers Rescue Bots: Meet the Team
26. Planet Earth
27. DinoTrux: A Thirsty Day in the Crater
28. Transformers Rescue Bots: Meet Heatwave the Fire Bot

Graphic Novel Challenge
7. The Sculptor
8. Huck: Book 1 - All American
9. Donald Duck: Vicious Cycles
10. Over the Garden Wall Vol. 1
11. Saga Vol. 5

Audio Book Challenge:
10. The Keeper
11. Pippi Longstocking
12. A Man Called Ove

Trilogy Challenge:
1.  Snow Like Ashes Trilogy: Book 1, Book .1, Book 2, Book 2.5, Book 3 - COMPLETE
2. Winner's Curse Trilogy: Book .5, Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 - COMPLETE
3. Sons of the Revolution Trilogy: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 - COMPLETE
4. Watersmeet Series: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 - COMPLETE
5. A Court of Thorns & Roses Series: Book 1, Book 2
6. Ralph S. Mouse Trilogy: Book 1, Book 2, Book 3 - COMPLETE

Requested Reviews:
12. Jesper Jinx and the Mouse Mayhem (direct)
13. Fyre (netgalley)
14. Martha the Blue Sheep (direct)
15. Book of Bera (netgalley - DNF)
16. Little French Bistro (penguin first to read)

Books Added to Shelves
4. Winners Kiss
5. Bubble Trouble
6. Blaze Loves to Race
7. Beauty and the Beast: Lost in a Book
8. Heartstone
9. Beauty and the Beast
10. Norse Mythology
11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
12. Beauty and the Beast: Belle's Library
13. Trapped
14. Samurai Rising

15. Pancho Bandito and the Amarillo Armadillo
16. The Mating - DNF
17. Hold Your Breath
18. Fan the Flames
19. The Keeper
20. Love and Muddy Puddles
21. Irish Rising
22. The Sculptor
23. Huck: Book 1- All American

24. Dawn Study
25. The Princess Diarist
Name of the Wind
27. Gone Camping
28. Saga Vol. 7
29. Over the Garden Wall - review coming
30. The Hundredth Queen
31. A Court of Wings and Ruin
32. On His Watch - review coming
33. In Safe Hands  - review coming
34. After the End - review coming
35. Seduced by the Billionaire
36. The Simplicity of Cider

TBR Shelf Books
35. More Than Peaches
36. A Court of Thorns and Roses
37. Riders
38. A Court of Mist and Fury
39. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
40. The Book Thief
41. Pippi Longstocking
42. Soldier Sister, Fly Home
43. The Mouse and the Motorcycle
44. R2-D2 To the Rescue
45. Runaway Ralph
46. Raph S. Mouse
47. Gone to Deep
48. The Reader
49. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
50. Journey to the Lights
51. A Man Called Ove
52. Rebels and Courtesans

1. Calen the Emerald
2. How My Dorky Dad Became a Hero
3. Cody the Cloud
4. Monster Trucks
5. Poems from the Mind of a Madman
6. Hidden Presences
7. Fables and Fiction
8. Why Not Call it Cow Juice
9. The Longest Game
10. Rhody Ram's RI Adventure
11. A Cricket's Thanksgiving
12. Dragonfly Magic
13. Motocross Summer
14. Mad Tales
15. Maid for Love
16. Shoreline
17. A Grocery List & Other Poems
18. Tide Roaring In
19. More Than Peaches
20. Irish Rising


So there are all the books I have read in the last couple of months, April was one of the best reading months ever, a lot of really great books.  May wasn't quite as successful, especially towards the end but I hope to improve upon that in June.  I am really happy with the progress of my challenges so far though, nearly halfway through the year and most of my challenges are at near half if not over half way complete already! I am also happy to see that while I haven't exactly kept up with reading all the books I have purchased this year, I have at least read more from my TBR shelf than I have purchased, that is a win for me currently!

So time to figure out what I will be reading in June:

Sword and Verse
Loki's Wolves
Run to Ground
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Saga Vol. 6
The Princess Diarist
Keep Calm and Carry a Big Drink
Shadow and Bone
A Court of Wings and Ruin
Samurai Rising

So how has your reading been going lately? What books are you usually in the mood for as the weather warms up? I tend to read a lot more romance right as the weather warms up and then slip back into fantasy romance then high fantasy.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Not 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

The Reader by Traci Chee

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

Saga Vol. 5

Currently Reading:
Loki's Wolves by K.L. Armstrong - Print- on page 46 of 358
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman - Audio - 38%
Book of Bera by Suzie Wilde - Kindle - on page 126 of 321

 Books to be Read Soon:


Pages Read/ Time Listened
103:01 Hours Listened (none listened this week)
25,661 Pages Read (152 this week)

Books Added to Shelves This Month
Beauty and the Beast by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by JK Rowling
Samurai Rising by Pamela Turner
Dawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher
Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
Saga Vol. 7 by Brian K. Vaughan
Over the Garden Wall by Jim Campbell, et. al.
The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. King
A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
On His Watch by Katie Ruggle
In Safe Hands by Katie Ruggle
After the End by Katie Ruggle
Seduced by the Billionaire by Carly Carson
The Simplicity of Cider by Amy E. Reichert

Books Read From My Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:


So this last week got a little crazy.  I thought I would have some time to schedule some posts but that definitely didn't happen!  I ended up having to work 3 of my vacation days and then used another one to get all my appointments done. We had a lot of fun with my parents and Munchkin certainly kept them busy and entertained.  With my dad around we were able to get some work done on the house and installed 2 new windows and fixed one of the gutters that were leaking into the house. So needless to say I wasn't able to get on the internet over the past week or really get any reading done either!  I was hoping to get things caught up yesterday during the holiday but instead ended up doing a bunch of chores and hanging a wall of sheetrock. Oh the joys of homeownership!

Anyway, I have a bunch of reading and reviews to catch up with but of course work and home take precedence.  I will hopefully be all caught up next week and be able to settle back in.  I will be posting my monthly update (for the past 2 months) later this week too.

I hope you all had a wonderful week last week and have read a lot of great books!