Friday, March 23, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Escape from Darth Vader by Michael Siglain

Read for: Early Reader Challenge & Star Wars of Course

Synopsis: "C-3PO and R2D2 must keep Darth Vader from discovering the Rebels' secret plans! This fully-illustrated level 1 reader retells the classic scenes from A New Hope where the droids crash land on the desert planet of Tatooine and meet a young farmer named Luke."

My Review: Of course we had to pick up more Star Wars books for Munchkin. Unfortunately, this seems to be repeating the same story of Princess Leia giving the plans to R2D2 and the droids getting away. We have read the same story in a few other books just paraphrased differently. I also wasn't a huge fan of the illustration style, it looks almost Disney princess like with the cartoon style and big eyes. What was great about it was that the words and sentences were simple and they had a lot of sight words for young readers. The text was large and clear for them to focus on too, and Munchkin was able to read most of the book on his own. 

My Rating: I was hoping for a little more to the story compared to the picture books we had previously read but it seems that there is little creativity in the children's books in the fandom, where as adult books have such a wide variety of branch off stories.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

March Readalong/ Readathon/ Challenge Update #3

This past week was a little hectic, I had company from out of state so we did a lot of little touristy things and we did stop at a couple of books stores, but for the most part I haven't been reading much this week.  We also ended up with a "snow" day (I say that because all flights were cancelled, school was cancelled and the state shut down but we ended up not getting any snow) which extended the vacation a bit, but also cut into work a bit so I am frantically trying to catch up now.  But with that I do have a few updates for you.

Anne of Green Gables Read-Along
This week's discussion is on Kami's Library Thoughts on the 22nd to review chapters 14 through 26, I did unfortunately miss the twitter chat last night, I crashed early after the busy week.  Next week's discussion post will be on Jenni's Blog on March 31st and will cover the last chapters of the book.   I had already listened to these chapters early just to be prepared.  I must say that I am still really liking Matthew, and Marilla is just so much like me it is scary.  I have come to the understanding that Anne is just the way she is and I will just be annoyed by her forever.  So on to this week's discussion questions

1. Anne has a gift for loving nature in all its forms, she even gives them delightful names. Do you find yourself appreciating nature more as you read this?

I don't really feel that you have to be able to name everything in order to appreciate their beauty. I have always loved nature and appreciated each bit I get to see, so I don't think that it has increased.

    2. We have finally met Gilbert! What do you think of him? Do you think Anne is justified in hating him so much?

    So far we don't know too much about him, I find him to be a bit of a typical boy but he seems very intelligent.  I think that is where Anne finds her dislike, he challenges her and in some ways is similar to her. Don't all childhood loves start out as a bit of a battle?!

    3. Anne's imagination finally got the better of her in the Haunted Wood. Do you think she learned anything from that experience? Do you think she'll tone down the imagination a bit?

    Haha, I loved that part, but imagination can take you down beautiful paths or darker paths, you can't have one without the other right? Also, who doesn't give themselves a good scare with their imagination? I don't think she will tone it down, it is part of who she is and I don't think she could change it even if she wanted.

    4. What do you think of Diana and the other school girls? Do you think Anne chose wisely for her bosom friend?

    Diana seems like a great friend, they both seem encouraging and supportive of each other.  While the girls do seem to bicker and have their gossips, it is so typical and realistic. I do keep waiting for Anne and Diana to have a real disagreement though, maybe that will come with the awareness of boys (which we have seen some foreshadowing of).

    5. I've always dreamed of visiting Prince Edward Island some day. Do you want to visit there also? What other real life literature places do you want to visit?

    It does sound lovely and idyllic on Prince Edward Island, though is that part of Anne's imaginings making it so appealing.  I tend to read more fantasy books, though of the actual places that have been described in books near the top are Italy and the country side of France (mostly for the food).


    The Selection Buddy Read
    I have fallen super far behind on this readalong, but luckily it is a series that reads very quickly.  My sister in law is already halfway through this book and is sending me ranting texts and freaking out.  It is so much fun to see a non-reader drawn into the story so much and to be so consumed by it.  I hope to catch up with her soon!


    Middle Grade March Read-A-Thon

    Another one I have fallen behind on, but not too bad. I completed Letters from Wolfie and am halfway through Monstrous.  I don't think I will be able to finish all the Middle Grade books I had lined up for this month but I am definitely making a lot of progress on my TBR shelves!
    1. Read an award winner: Letters from Wolfie
    2. Read a book to movie adaptation: (almost done with Anne of Green Gables)
    3. Read a children's classic: 
    4. Read a childhood favorite: 
    5. Read a diverse book: As Brave As You


    Try a Chapter Challenge

    I am really happy with this challenge, I may use it to go through more books on my TBR.  This week I tried a chapter in 5 more books from book boxes. 1 from Unicorn Crate, 1 from Bookcase Club, 2 from Owlcrate and 1 from Noveltea Box.  I ended up putting 3 back on my shelf to read this year, Even the Darkest Stars, A Gift to Remember and The Sandcastle Empire; and 2 are going to be sold or donated, Wild Beauty and Between Two Fires.  I have to say this was the first time I really got sucked into a book though, I didn't want to stop reading The Sandcastle Empire after the first chapter, so expect that to be read sooner rather than later!  I think I have 8 more books to try before the end of the month.  It is really nice to be clearing my TBR shelves a little more. 


    Frankenstein Read-Along
    Sadly, I have fallen terribly behind on this readalong, I am two weeks behind!! I will definitely be catching up in the next week or so, this is just one of those books that I really want to be able to read with no distractions.  You can check out the updates and questions from Stef at Noveltea Corner
    Next week I hope to be able to answer 2 weeks of questions during my update.


    So there you have my progress for the this last week. A little disappointing but that was to be expected.  I hope to have better progress next week, especially since it is the end of March next week!!

    Wednesday, March 21, 2018

    Top 5 Wednesday: Booktube SFF Babbles: Favorite SF/F in Non Book Media

    Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube.

    At first when I saw this topic I thought I would have a lot of issues coming up with 5 things in other media.  I don't watch TV (other than Game of Thrones & NFL), I don't really watch movies very often, I have never played video games or even really any computer games.  But once I actually sat down and thought about it, some of the things I was the biggest fan of are SF/F from places other than books (maybe that has branched into books but the love originated outside of books).  So here we go with the list.

    Solarquest Board Game
    Now I don't know if any of you have heard of this game, most people I talk to have no idea what it is, but it is Monopoly for space! You buy the moons of each planet.  My brother and I were obsessed with this game when we were younger. I must say though that it takes AGES to play, we would have game running for a week or more. (and yes it is probably as geeky as it sounds)

    Fantastic Adventures of Unico
    I was obsessed with this movie when I was a kid, we recorded it off TV on  a VHS and I am pretty sure I wore the thing out.  I was a total unicorn fan as a kid, and total believer, so this adorable and sometimes trouble making little unicorn had my heart.  While I was searching for a picture of this, I discovered it has been released on DVD!! Of course that was an instant order!

    One Eyed One Horned Flying Purple People Eater
    Yes, now you are starting to realize that I am that totally geeky 80s child. I was in love with this song and the movie, my mom even made me a totally awesome Halloween costume that I wore for 4 years running until I outgrew it! 

    My Little Pony & Rainbow Brite
    I lumped these together because honestly if you were a fan of one, chances are you were a fan of the other.  I loved both of these in toy form, movie form, tv form, games, coloring books, you name it I had it.  The love for My Little Pony definitely carried into adulthood and I am still a fan, still have a collection (though it isn't as active as it used to be).

    Star Wars & Ewok Spin-off
    Of course, you had to have known this was coming right?! I am another Star Wars obsessed person.  I also love the Ewok Spin-off movies, Cartoon, toys and books.  I don't think I really need to go into this at all right?! I have been working Munchkin up to the movies, and am planning a huge May the 4th movie viewing for us, it will be his first time seeing the actual movies and I can't wait!!

    Tuesday, March 20, 2018

    Review of Addie on the Inside by James Howe

    Read for: Mount TBR/ Middle Grade March

    Synopsis: "The Gang of Five is back in this much-anticipated follow-up to The Misfits and Totally Joe . Addie Carle, the only girl in the group of friends, is outspoken, opinionated, and sometimes…just a bit obnoxious. But as seventh grade progresses, Addie’s not so sure anymore about who she is. It seems her tough exterior is just a little too tough, and that doesn’t help her deal with the turmoil she feels on the inside as she faces the pains of growing up.
    Told in accessible verse, Addie on the Inside gives readers a look at a strong, smart, and sensitive girl struggling with the box that society wants to put her in. Addie confronts experiences many readers will relate to: loss, heartbreak, teasing…but also, friendship, love, and a growing confidence in one’s self."
    My Review: I originally picked up the box set of this series so I could read Totally Joe for the Banned Book week last year, and have slowly been reading all 4 books. I kind of wish this one had been out when I was in school, I definitely could have related to Addie a lot. That is the wonderful thing about this book, and the series as a whole, even though I was in middle school in the 90s and this book came out in 2011, and I think kids can still relate to the issues that Addie faces. I also love how it is written in verse, the style varies from page to page but each of the verses has a story to tell, lots of emotion, is easy to read and of course is relatable. This is definitely a book and a series that I would recommend again and again to readers of all ages from pre-teen throughout adulthood.

    My Rating: I have found this series to be very surprising and this book especially. I had found Addie a little irritating (even though she is quite a bit like I was) in previous books, but I really relate to her and loved her point of view.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

    Monday, March 19, 2018

    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 Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson (Bedtime Story)
    Korgi Book 4: The Problem with Potions by Christian Slade (Graphic Novel)

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

    Korgi Book 4
    Gods of the North
    Addie on the Inside
    As Brave as You
    Letters from Wolfie

    Currently Reading:

    Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery - Audio - 63%
    Frankenstein (the original 1818 Version) by Mary Shelley - Print - on page 63 of 167
    Monstrous by Marykate Connolly - Print - on page 216 of 438

    Pages Read/ Time Listened
    139:29 Hours Listened (7:02 listened this week)
    8,805 Pages Read (728 this week)

    Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
    Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
    Moonsilver by Kathleen Duey
    Silver Thread by Kathleen Duey
    The Silver Bracelet by Kathleen Duey
    Mountains of the Moon by Kathleen Duey
    Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
    I Love My Love by Reyna Biddy
    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
    Gods of the North by Lucy Coats
    We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
    Life Changing Manga of Cleaning Up by Marie Kondo
    To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
    Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley
    Letters from Wolfie by Patti Sherlock
    Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
    Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
    Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
    Beartown by Fredrik Backman
    The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
    Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai
    Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly
    Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
    The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
    Terrier by Tamora Pierce
    Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
    As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
    Smuggler's Run by Greg Ruka
    The Lost Stone by Jordan Quinn
    The Scarlet Dragon by Jordan Quinn
    Sea Monster by Jordan Quinn
    Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
    The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
    Heaven on Earth by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr
    Into the Fire by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
    Still Waters by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
    Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
    Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
    Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
    Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
    Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
    Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
    Here Comes the Sun by Marie Force


    It was a reasonably good reading week all things considered, I had a lot of work at the office to make up for only a 3 day work week and a lot of house work to get done before company arrived.  So only a little time here and there for reading and mostly audio books. So far I have managed to keep up with my readathons, readalongs and challenges for the month and I am super happy with that, but I have gotten behind on some of my more chunky books.

    With all that said, as of posting this I am in the middle of a bit of a vacation! It is a bit of a staycation/ local site seeing vacation.  We are staying a bit close to home, but my best friend is visiting and so we are hitting up some local micro breweries and some lesser known tourist sites.  It is some much needed down time, hopefully I will get some reading in or maybe some book shopping!

    Hope you have a great week!