Saturday, April 7, 2018

Graphic Novel Review of Hermes: Tales of the Trickster by George O'Connor

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge, Love this Series & Goodreads Giveaway

Synopsis: "In volume ten of Olympians, George O’Connor delves into the myth of Hermes, the trickster god. From his infancy, when he bewitches animals and bends them to his will (stealing a herd of Apollo’s prize cattle in the bargain), to his adolescence and adulthood when he becomes father to the equally mischievous Pan, Hermes’s story is wildly entertaining as he brings a little bit of chaos to everything he touches or creates. This volume is sure to be a fan favorite with its wit, charm, and storytelling."

My Review: I have so been enjoying this series of graphic novels and was excited when I won this one in the Goodreads Giveaway. I had know a bit about Hermes from my previous knowledge of Greek Mythology but this really expanded my knowledge. I like how this one is presented as a traveler telling stories about Hermes and his adventures, and the way the stories are within a story within a story, very suiting to the tricky Hermes. We get to see a lot of the different sides of Hermes personality throughout this one and it does a great job of presenting his story. I have to say it also does a great job of introducing the other gods and goddesses involved in this story to readers who are not as familiar with mythology, it doesn't dumb it down but it makes the tales very approachable. You also don't really need to read this series in order which is another great plus. I highly recommend this series and I can't wait for more!

My Rating: I have loved this series and this book is no different.  We are now getting to the gods and goddess I know less about and I found this GN to be very informative and approachable.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Ollie's Easter Eggs by Olivier Dunrea

Read for: Early Reader/ Easter Gift

Synopsis: "In this exciting Level 1 Green Light Reader Gossie, Gertie, BooBoo, and Peedie are all dyeing Easter eggs. Ollie wants Easter eggs too and he has a plan for how to get them! Dunrea again gets the preschooler emotions exactly right, capturing a range of holiday-inspired feelings, from Ollie's wiggly impatience to be included to the pure joy of the older goslings discovering that Ollie has arranged the best Easter egg hunt of all."

My Review: Munchkin received this book for Easter and it was a fun little book to read for the holiday. It is a great level one reader with simple words and a lot of repetition for those young readers. You don't necessarily need to have read the other books in this collection but it would help to be more familiar with the other characters. It did have great references to colors and the traditions around Easter like dyeing the eggs and hiding them and also giving of small gifts and kindnesses.

My Rating: We enjoyed this one, it is easy enough for Munchkin to read entirely on his own. It would have been nice to have been more familiar with the characters but it isn't a major hindrance.  We give it a rating of Three Paws.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Frankenstein Read-Along Wrap Up & Personal Book Box

So as most of you know, I spent the month participating in a read-along of Frankenstein hosted by Stef at Novel Tea Corner on Youtube.  If you have been here for any amount of time you will know that this is my all time favorite book and I re-read it often.  This being the 200th year of it's publication, I definitely had to re-read it this year.  I actually found a copy of the original 1818 version of the text (as differs from the 1831 text that appears in most published versions commonly available) and decided to read this version instead.  

I have answered questions and discussed the progress throughout the month long readalong and you can see those HereHere and Here.   You can see Stef's Video with her final thoughts HERE 

I am not going to bore you with another review of this book but you can see my review in full for this version of Frankenstein HERE and also my review of the 1831 version HERE.

If you don't know this about me, I am a bit addicted to Bookish Subscription boxes, I love all the themed goodies that come in those boxes. Not to long ago Stef at Novel Tea Corner had made her own subscription box for a book she had read and enjoyed, and it inspired me to do the same.  Instead of getting items that I may not like or books I may not be interested in, why not put together a little box of items that I really want, all surrounding my all time favorite book?  So that is what I did, I made myself a little (well big really) Frankenstein Book Box!

So included in my box:
2 new editions of Frankenstein (because I love unique and beautiful editions of this book)
5 bone pens 
A pillow case from Andrew Gordon on RedBubble
A reproduction of the first page from Quest Adventures on Etsy
2 First & Last Line bookmarks from LiteraryEmporium on Etsy
Text Pencil Pouch from Luv2right on RedBubble
Quote Notebook from EliseAbril on RedBubble (with my favorite quote)
Old Books perfume from Apothescary Scents on Etsy
Mary Shelley Tea from Literary Tea Company on Etsy
Mary Shelley Mug from Tami Wicinas on Society6
Title Page Sticker from KMC-Artworks on Redbubble
Sci-fi Sticker from nuraaaly on RedBubble
The Book Was Better Sticker from TheShirtYirt on Redbubble
Bookstack Sticker from Kuhtina on Redbubble

Here are a couple close ups of some of the items

I love this mug, you can see Mary Shelley writing Frankenstein with a creature outside the window!

I love this idea of putting together a book box of items I really want for books that I really love and I may have to start doing this for myself instead of order subscription boxes, though it does take some of the surprise out of it (and it was way more expensive because I wanted so many things).

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Readalong Wrap Up & Review of Anne of Green Gable by L.M. Montgomery

As promised here are the answers to the final discussion on the Anne of Green Gables readalong.  I am happy I was able to read this book with a great group of fellow book bloggers and friends.  The final discussion was posted on Jenni's Blog Friday the 31st.  They are also having a movie party, which I may try to join in from my home, depending on schedule, this Friday, April 6th.

1. Is this your first time reading Anne of Green Gables or a reread? Either way, what did you think about it?'
This was my first time reading Anne of Green Gables, and even now that I am finished I am still not 100% sure about my feelings. It is hard to say you enjoyed the book when the main character was not to your liking, but some of the side characters were really intriguing.  I am also not sure if everyone else's opinion on it is skewing mine slightly. It was an okay book, I did become attached to a few of the characters and I did like the development of the characters as the story progressed, but would I read it again, I don't think so.

2. If this is your first time reading Anne of Green Gables, do you plan to read the rest of the series? If you’ve read Anne of Green Gables before, have you read the rest of the series? What do you think about it?
I am not sure, I did like the way that Anne matured at the end of the book, her character was much more to my liking, and it makes me think that the next books will be more to my liking.  Also I only got a brief glimpse of this Gilbert that everyone keeps raving about, and I am at least a little curious about why everyone is all swoony about him other than the couple of things in this book.

3. Who is your favorite character and why?
My favorite character definitely Matthew, he is such a gentle and quite soul but the kindest and sweetest person out there. I love his quite way.  I also really connected with Marilla, I found so many similarities between her and myself, at times it was a little eye opening. 

4. Who is your least favorite character and why?
I know everyone else loves her but I really couldn't stand Anne for the first 3/4 of the book. I couldn't stand how dramatic and talkative she was and also the overly imaginative way she has also irritated me. I did like her optimism and determination but overall she was not a character who appealed to me at all.

5. What was your favorite scene and why?
It is hard to say what my favorite scene was, I do like how Gilbert rescued Anne from the bridge and had asked for forgiveness and friendship, even though she denied him, he continued to be kind.  I also love the scene where Matthew tries to buy fabric for a dress with puff sleeves but is unable to get it out. I am glad he was able to talk to Ms. Rachel and finally get the dress done.

6. What did you think about the last third of the book and why?
I really enjoyed the final third of the book! I like that Anne finally matured, she was less overly energetic. I would like to say less dramatic but she did have a tendency towards drama but it was less over the top.  Maybe it was the fact that the last third of the book really seemed to skim over several years while the first 2 thirds were extremely detailed with only a year or two.  


I really struggled to read the print book of Anne and I had heard great things about Rachel McAdams narration, so I switched to the audio version for the readalong and I am very glad I did. She really captured Anne and the essence of the story.

My Review: So many readers have said this was one of their favorites from childhood. I never read any of the Anne books before, I was more of a Laura Ingalls Wilder girl. Anyway, several of my favorite book bloggers were having a readalong this month so I figured now was a great time to read it. I really struggled with the kindle edition so I switched to the audio book narrated by Rachel McAdams. Rachel McAdams really did seem to capture the voice and personality of Anne, and while Anne drove me absolutely nuts, I can appreciate the fact that the narration was spot on. It is difficult to really enjoy a book when the main character is a person that grates on your nerves constantly, but lucky for me there was a great cast of supporting characters that I could really enjoy. I adored Matthew and I found a real connection with Marilla. I did like the fact that Anne was so true to herself and was so optimistic given her upbringing, and I found the final 5 or so chapters to be great as Anne finally started maturing and really coming into her own a bit. I can see how some people really love this book but it really wasn't for me, but I am glad I did read it. 

My Rating: I have to say if I didn't read this with a group I definitely would have DNFed it within the first 50 or so pages.  I am glad I did push on and find out that Anne matured and got to know some of the other characters, but it won't be at the top of any of my recommendation lists or re-read lists. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Book Rant: Strong Girls & Strong Boys

This was not the post I was planning today, but I have just spent 4 hours searching for some new books for Munchkin and I found it more and more frustrating every minute. Brace yourself because this is going to dissolve into a bit of a rant, and I know that my opinions will not line up with everyone, but that is okay.  These are just my thoughts and the situations I run across while trying to raise a strong, confident and intelligent little boy who will believe he can do anything. 

Children's book week is coming up starting on April 30th and I wanted to find some great new books to feature during the week, including picture books, level readers, middle grade and YA. I always strive to find a great selection of books that will appeal to both young female readers and young male readers, as well as some that are geared more towards the genders individually. But of course having a 5 year old son might make me a little biased towards picking books that will appeal to him, encourage him and give him something to strive towards.  I also really try to find a nice balance of fiction and non-fiction books to not only feature here on the blog but also to fill our shelves. 

So on today's search for some newly released Children's books, I came across a trend that I found interesting in some aspects and extremely frustrating in others.  

Do you know what you will find when you search on Amazon in the books for "Strong Girls"?  An amazing selection of role models for girls, girl power books, books on encouraging girls to awesome.  Books like:

Those are some really awesome books that fit what I was searching for, and I am all for encouraging young girls to be all that they can and not to let anything hold them back.

Do you know what I got when I searched for Strong Boys? Books like Parenting Teen Boys, Lord of the Flies, Strong Sensitive Boys, etc. A vast majority of the books were parenting books or exercise books, and even books about being strong girls, nothing like the selection for the girls. So I altered my search and searched for Role Models for Boys and came up with 2 pages of books with the best of those being

Definitely not the selection I was looking for, some good books of course but no where near the level of the selection for girls. 

So I thought maybe I would take my search to Goodreads and see what Listopia could give me, sometimes there are some great lists of lesser known books.   Again I used the same searches and found a great list of  193 books for Children's Picture Books with Strong Females, it has a great combination of new and back list, fiction and non fiction.  After trying a few different search options I finally found a list for the boys, a list of only 10 Picture Books with Positive Role Models for Boys and while it has some books I would have never known about, it is rather disappointing. 

So I went back to a search for just new releases, thinking there has to be some great new release books out.  I know I seen some fantastic books for girls and figured there would be a bunch for boys too.

For the girls, there is definitely no shortage of books featuring fantastic role models for girls to look up to.  Here are a few just a few that I found in a search of new releases from the last 90 days:
I am so thrilled with the books that young girls will be able to read and be inspired by! You better believe I will be sending a lot of books to my nieces as they grow and read more.

I was also looking for books for boys in the new releases and found them sadly lacking yet again, I even went through all the pages twice to make sure I didn't miss something that I would want for Munchkin.  Here are the few that I did find . . 

I was so disappointed but I was determined, I knew there had to be books out there about the male scientists and leaders, and I was right but we have to really dig and search for them. Many of the books I found were published in 2013 or earlier.

I was finally happy to have found a nice selection of books, but why did I have to search so hard to find them?! 

I did come across a series that looked promising. The series is called Little People, Big Dreams and looking at the books that pop up in searches you see Harriet Tubman, Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart and more, you start to think, finally a found a great series that will have role models from a variety of fields.  But guess what, they are all female! An entire 14 book series called Little People, Big Dreams and not one male in the bunch. It should be called Little Ladies, Big Dreams!

I then came across another series called Ordinary People Who Change the World which is a fantastic series of 16 books that feature role models from both genders in a variety of fields and points in history.  As I was looking at the list on the author's page I came across the box set from the series that is a 4 books set called Strong Girls Gift set and thought, fantastic, I can get a set for my nieces and there has to be a set for boys that I can get for Munchkin and maybe save some money from having to buy them individually.  HAHA! There is no set for boys! Why would you make a set for girls and not the boys?! I honestly hope that since this is a newer series and a new set that they will make one for the boys, I can only hope!

So here is my issue with my findings throughout the day, we have done a fantastic job of encouraging our girls to chase their dreams, giving them a variety of role models in a variety of careers to look up to and I am absolutely thrilled with that.  However, in focusing so much on encouraging the girls, have we forgotten about the boys? Yes there are a wealth of books out there, in fact the past was greatly skewed in the other direction.  But as anyone who is in the market for a book or who has been involved in the book industry in anyway (including avidly reading and blogging) you know that the back list books do not get as much attention and can often be difficult to come by, they aren't as widely available in brick and mortar stores and you really have to know exactly what you are searching for in order to find them. Do I feel that opposite genders can't inspire? Absolutely, any girl can be inspired by a male scientist or doctor, and any boy could be inspired by a female astronaut or biologist, but it is nice to have a book where they can see themselves when they grow up.

Please, if you have any great recommendations, do not hesitate to comment and let me know the books you have enjoyed! I am happy to discuss as well but I ask that any comments be kept civil. 

Monday, April 2, 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

Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly
Horton Hatches the Egg by Dr. Seuss (Bedtime Story)

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

Anne of Green Gables
The Witches Curse
Dinosaur Racing
The Astounding Broccoli Boy
The Elite
Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories
Good Night Unicorn
Red Sister
Ollie's Easter Eggs

Currently Reading:

Pages Read/ Time Listened
171:25 Hours Listened (19:36 listened this week)
10,398 Pages Read (1,402 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
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
Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly UNHAUL
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
Hermes: Tales of a Trickster by George O'Connor
The Witch's Curse by Jordan Quinn
Emma's Dream by M. Lee Prescott
Eko by Loren Walker
Moving Targets by Cecil Castellucci
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Ladycastle by Delilah Dawson
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
The Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely


Crazy that it is already April, and of course it is snowing outside, go figure.  Last week was an absolutely fantastic reading week with the push to finish all my challenges & readalongs.  I am very happy with the way March finished out, though I don't have much hope that April will be as great with the start of spring, but we can hope.  I definitely have a lot of new books to read and will be really trying to more carefully consider my book purchases.  With that in mind I will be taking a bunch of the books that I have purchased from Book Outlet and will be Trying A Chapter challenge on them again, and this will hopefully also help make me aware of how many books I may not want to read but have purchased anyway. I will also be continuing my Buddy Read of the Selection series and will hopefully be participating in the Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon.

This week will probably be a little slow in the reading as I will be picking up a big chunky 600+ page book and focus on that before my library loan expires.  I also have Tball starting, school tours, Easter clean up and some cards to get done, and it is time to start another round of spring cleaning and house purging.  I hope you all have a great week!