Tag Archives: books

Top Ten Tuesday #24

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

May 9, 2017: Ten Things On Our Reading Wishlist (topic originally done January 2014) — things you want to see more of in books — tropes, a time period, a specific type of character, an issue tackled, a certain plot, etc. All those things that make you think I WANT MORE OF THIS IN BOOKS!

This week I’m flipping the topic. I read all sorts of books, and have a TBR that is already impossibly long. What do I want more of, I don’t know. But I can tell you what I want less of, and what I’m really tired of seeing publishers do to make a buck. So if anyone in the publishing industry is listening here’s what I’d do away with in books.

Top 10 7 Things I Want LESS Of in Books

  1. Shirtless men – Seriously stop with this, there are way too many book covers that have guys with airbrushed abs on them. We always talk about objectifying women in ads, magazines and etc, but what about objectifying men in books? I won’t even bother with the book description if it has a shirtless man on the cover.

    Might be a good book, but I’ll never know.
  2. Graphic Sex scenes – Goes along with the one above, but it’s just so unnecessary and often detracts from the story. I just read a book like this with great a great setting, a building mystery, good characters and then the sex… ugh the Golden Spider why did you have to go and do that to me? (And I was so looking forward to reading the Silver Skull, which I had already read an preview for.) Plus in this case it just didn’t fit with the Victorian setting, you can’t pretend that everyone is all prudish and then have your main characters drop their inhibitions (and clothing) at a whim.

    A good story ruined.
  3. Instalove/Triangles – Seriously, time after time other bloggers have pointed out that as readers they are so disgusted by this but yet it’s in pretty much every other book. Even in my most recent read, The Waterfall Traveler, the author had to include a kinda-sorta of love triangle, even though it was played down. But really the story didn’t need it, the characters would have been fine without it, it’s not like there is some law saying you have to include it. Just stop with the love triangles and instalove.

    Really this book didn’t need a love triangle.
  4. Confessions – Just tell your story, stop with all these first person confession fiction pieces. I understand that they are probably easy to write, after all a confession can be just as disjointed as the thoughts of the person confessing. It feels like the Readers Digest ideas of “13 secrets your plumber won’t tell you”, has gotten made into a novel and they expect it to work.

    I really don’t need this in my life.
  5. Straight to Kindle – Nothing bugs me more than getting a book that feels like it’s gone straight to Kindle and skipped the editors desk. When I first got my Kindle I stumbled into this a lot more often. Now I am more selective in the free books I add to my reading list. Really just have your book edited by a professional, at least have someone catch all the times you call characters by the wrong name.

    Sorry, good idea but bad execution. I can’t even find this book on Amazon anymore.
  6. Every Series Needs More BooksNot all sequels are equals. Publishers think that if they keep squeezing more out of the same ideas that those ideas will make good stories. Frankly, I could write a whole blog about this. Too many times what should have been a stand-alone novel or a duelogy gets turned into 3 or 5 or 8 novels, and by the end the books are dry repeat plots. Please publishers just stop doing this.

    The first one was written in 1964, the next in 1985 now there are 17 books (most written after the authors death.)
  7. Pastors Must Write A Book – It seems that in order to be seen as a successful pastor of a large church you have to publish a book. Often these book are HEAVILY padded. One book I read had lots and lots, a ridiculous amount of lists. Others have just gone over the same point time and time again. There may be enough material for a great sermon series, but that doesn’t mean it will be a great book. Sadly, this is why I don’t request Christian non-fiction ARCs any more.

    I hope you like lists, and one word sentences. Lots.

So that’s it, I could only come up with seven this week. What is one thing you’d like to see less of in books? If you could wave your magic wand and make publishers change something what would it be? Let me know in the comments below.

Book Blitz: Ensnared

Ensnared
Rita Stradling
Publication date: May 23rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction

Meet A New Book

 

 

 

 

 

I seem to be on a Steampunk kick lately. This book had a steampunk look and feel when I read about it in the email from Xpresso Book Tours, so I said “why not?” But it’s really more of a sci-fi story than steampunk. As one of the quotes on Amazon calls it “I, Robot meets Beauty and the Beast”  – Leah’s Bookish Obsession

A Near Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

Download an excerpt of Ensnared.

Bottom Line:

I can’t say for sure. The excerpt was interesting, but not quite what I had expected from the blurb. This one will be a wait and see, how other reviews turn out. But the giveaway looks awesome, so I hope you will enter. If you read Ensnared please let me know how it turns out, and if you liked it.

Goodreads / Amazon Pre-order

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Book Blitz: Empty Threat

Book Blitz: Empty ThreatEmpty Threat  
Danny Bell

(The Black Pages, #1)
Publication date: May 2nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Meet A New Book

 

 

 

 

I don’t know how you can be a book lover and not instantly see the appeal of the book. It went into my Goodread TBR shelf almost instantly. And after reading chapter one (linked to below) I am definitely  to keep read this.

Book one of The Black Pages

Elana Black has the power to make herself fictional. But when she decides to start saving all the people in books and TV shows who die just for the sake of advancing the plot, she quickly learns that she’s not the only one with her powers.

All Elana wants to do is save people. But these others don’t want the stories to change, and they’ll do everything they can to stop her.

If you had the power to change fate… to create a happy ending where there wasn’t one before… would you do it if it meant risking your own?

Download Chapter One of Empty Threat

Bottom Line: 

I can’t wait to read this and I have requested one of the review copies from Xpresso Book Tours, so hopefully I’ll get my hands on it soon. It’s hilarious to me that it is only in paperback on Amazon, but I get that it works for the kind of story it is. But if they had it for kindle unlimited I’d already be reading it. 😉

Goodreads / Amazon

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Top Ten Tuesday #23


toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

May 2, 2015: Cover Theme Freebie: literally anyyyything about covers….top ten covers that scream Spring, ten books with ice cream on the cover, ten books with blue covers, etc. etc.

Thinking about what covers I could cover for this weeks topic ;-), I started to think of Nancy Drew (especially since the 87th anniversary of the Secret of the Old Clock was on April 28th, Happy Birthday Nancy Drew!!!) and all the great cover art done for that series. Thanks to NancyDrew.info and their great list of ALL of the Nancy Drew editions I was able to take a stroll down memory lane and pick out my 10 favorite for this weeks list.

Top 10 Nancy Drew Covers

  1. The Secret of the Old Clock: 80th Anniversary Limited Edition – This one is cool and classic. The iconic girl detective in blue is just about perfect. Plus the fact that it’s the 80th Anniversary Limited Edition makes it even better.
  2. The Mystery At Lilac Inn – This one has always appeared mysterious to me. What could they be signally each other for? The colors also just draw your eyes right to the action.
  3. The Password To Larkspur Lane – This is one of my favorite Nancy Drew stories, and I love the cover too. It makes her look like she’s doing some real sleuthing. And that guy is really angry, I just love it!
  4. The Ghost of Blackwood Hall – Two thing make this great, it has George and Bess and Nancy all on the cover and then just the eerie feel of the picture. It makes me want to go find it and read it again right now.
  5. The Haunted Bridge – Can’t you just feel the danger and tension? I love it. But somehow that look in Nancy’s eyes you just know she’s going to figure this out.
  6. The Hidden Window Mystery – I <3 peacocks! Really I do, I have a huge Pinterest board full of peacock love, and a jewelry box bursting with all sorts of peacock loveliness. And here is one distracting Nancy so somebody can sneak by. How could I not love it?The Hidden Window Mystery
  7. The Clue Of The Whistling Bagpipes – Nancy in a kilt playing the bagpipes! Do I need to say more?
  8. The Hidden Staircase – These new 2014 covers by Sabrina Gabrielli are beautiful. My favorite is this one on the Hidden Staircase. While they don’t really have the same feel as the old ones it is nice to see a fresh take on the Girl Detective.
  9. Mystery Of Crocodile Island – Is Nancy going to stab that croc with her knife? That’s the first thought that came to me when I looked at this cover. I just love how it draws you into the action.Mystery Of Crocodile Island
  10. The Secret Of The Forgotten City – Nancy looks so worried here. YOu have to wonder what’s going on. Plus I’m a nut for Monochromatic art. The colors here are just beautiful.The Secret Of The Forgotten City

So which is you favorite? Did you enjoy Nancy Drew (or the Hardy Boys) when you were younger? Let me know in the comments.

Introducing Small Goals

May Small Goals

Thanks to Newbery and Beyond for introducing me to Small Goals, which is a monthly linkup.

What is it?

Writes like a Girl has a linkup called Small Goals. Each month you post a short list of small goals you intend to work on plus your progress towards your goals from the previous month.

Stay Gold Autumn has another goal linkup with the rules:

Like to post about your goals? Link up with any goal post in staygoldautumn.com's linkup on the first day of the month!

  1. Add your goal posts to the linkup: it could be your goals for the year, 101 in 1001 goals, monthly goals, or just a post that talks about a goal you have completed!
  2. Display the button on your blog or post (button + code is available on my sidebar)
  3. Comment on 3 other blog posts that are linked up!

April Goals

Since I’m just starting I didn’t post April’s goals ahead of time. Part of the reason I am interested in the Small Goals linkups is that we are finally settling into the new house and new routine and I feel like I need to get some more structure back. I also downloaded the Onceaday app this month to help with goal tracking.

Onceaday Goals:

3 Sets of Sit-ups – This was much harder than I thought it was going to be. I only hoped to do 10 sit-ups in each set but found that doing it 3x days was just hard to remember.

Read for 15 Minutes – This is pretty easy for me, but since the move I haven’t had a lot of extra time. So telling myself that I WILL set aside the time has helped me to actually do it.

Other Goals:

Finish one book a week – My normal yearly goal is 50 books, but because life has been so crazy and mixed up the last couple of years I’ve been lucky to get 30 books in. I’m setting out to fix that, even if it means reading more YA titles this year.

May Goals

Continue With:

3 Sets of Sit-ups

Read for 15 Minutes

Finish one book a week

New Goals:

Create one new page in my bullet journal a week.

So that’s it, my small goals. Do you also have a way of tracking your goals? Do you use a goal tracking app? I’d love to hear about your experience.

Top Ten Tuesday #22

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 25, 2017Top Ten Words/Topics That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

Choosing a book is as much about mood as it is about the topic, setting or genre of the book, but there are some books I just know I won’t be interested in.

Top 10 Topics that Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

  1. Vampires – I have never been into Vampires, especially when they are the “good guys.” The whole idea of them is revolting to me, especially since they are basically cannibals who trade their souls for immortality and then degrade themselves constantly. Just not interested.
  2. Romeo and Juliette – Or “star-crossed lovers” if it’s in a description of a book and that book has not been written by Shakespeare I’m not interested. I think people have vastly misunderstood the message of Romeo and Juliette. “Romeo and Juliet is not a love story. It’s a 3 day relationship between a 13 year old and a 17 year old that caused 6 deaths. Sincerely, everyone who actually read it.” – Anonymous
  3. Horror – I’m not into things that are gruesome. So much of horror seems to be gruesome from gruesome’s sake and shocking for shock sake. I just don’t get it. I don’t get why people enjoy dismemberment, or torture, or cruelty, or anything like that.
  4. Graphic Sex – For the most part it just doesn’t do anything for the story. Why do we need to have all the details when it’s so much classier to allude to it?
  5. Amish Fiction – I don’t know how this genre got to be such a big thing. I understand wanting to read about different cultures and unfamiliar settings, but it just seems like there are too many books in this category. The Amish lifestyle might be interesting, but it’s weird that we have commercialize their lifestyle in such a way.
  6. Urban Fantasy – I have tried to get into Urban Fantasy. I picked up the City of Bones because so many people raved about it, but through out most of the book I kept thinking, “Buffy did it better.” In a lot of Urban Fantasy it seems like I can’t stay in the story, the world building and the characters don’t work for me.
  7. Harlequin Romance – These books just seem to cheapen real romance. For me I’d rather experience the real thing than read about an unreal type of romance. Plus the way these books are published in bulk makes them formulaic.
  8. Rush Limbaugh – I have family members who think he’s great, so they occasionally give me one of his books. I have no interest in reading his inflammatory perspective. (Note: Just the other day my Grandmother tired to get me to read something by Rush.)
  9. Politics – In general I do not enjoy books on political subjects.
  10. Men without their shirts on – When I see this on the cover I just roll my eyes and pass it by. Beside they are always airbrushed abs anyway.

What kinds of things turn you off from choosing a book? Are there topics you just don’t find interesting? Leave me a comment and let me know.

 

Top Ten Tuesday #21

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 18, 2017: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly Want To Read A Book (topic originally done back in 2013 as top ten words/topics that will make me instantly want to read a book) — so yeah basically any topic or theme or ANYTHING (ie if X person recommends it) that will make you instantly want to pick up a book.

My reading habits have been called eclectic before, and that’s because I’m just as likely to have my nose in a Nancy Drew book as I am the Brothers Karamazov. My taste ranges from fantasy to science fiction, from Greek tragedy to modern poetry, and from Christian Fiction to YA Dystopian. That being said, yes there are somethings that will draw me to a book more that other things, and here is an un-ordered list of ten of those.

Top Ten Topics That Make Me Want to Read A Book

    1. Greek Mythology – I love Greek tragedy and try to fit at least 1 Greek play into my reading every year. But I also like to see Greek mythology remixed, retold, twisted or simply alluded to. It’s why I took a chance on Venom & Vanilla, even though I don’t normally like Urban Fantasy. One of my favorites in the category: Nobody’s Princess.

    1. Stephen R Lawhead – Lawhead is my favorite author. I have read every book by him, and own most of them. I especially like his Robin Hood and Arthurian retellings. My favorite book of all time is Dream Thief.

    1. Arthurian Retellings – If it has Merlin, Arthur, or the Knight of the Round Table in it I probably want to read it. I am an Arthur junkie. (Although I admit to not being able to get into the series Merlin, for some reason.) I already mentioned Lawhead’s retelling, an interesting one I read lately was Shadowland: A Tale From The Dark Ages.

    1. Dreams – I enjoy stories where the main character is drawn into their dreams, or lives another life in their dreams, or just where dreams play a major part in the real world. I’ve already mentioned how much I love Dream Thief, another one you may want to check out is Dreamlander

    1. Good Fantasy World Building – I don’t look for just any fantasy story, I want one I can loose myself in. Which is why The Lord of the Rings is awesome. Nothing takes me out of the story faster than a world in which the characters don’t seem to fit. But if I hear from other reviewers that the world building really drew them in, it’s a bet that the book is going into my TBR. Check out the The Midnight Sea(The Fourth Element, #1) for some great world building.

    1. Newbery – One of my major reading goals is to read through all the Newbery books. I fell really behind on this last year, but am hoping to get up to speed again this year. One of the best of the titles I’ve read so far is Holes.

    1. Archers – This one is especially true of comics, but two of my childhood heroes where Robin Hood and William Tell (thanks to two BBC series on PBS.) So when Lawhead came out with his Hood series I was tickled pink. And I also loved The Hunger Games.

    1. Philip K. Dick – Is another author I love and will read pretty much anything I can get my hands on. It’s crazy with the amount of books he’s written how hard it is to come across them second hand. Second Variety, is a short story of his that I am still thinking about (and creeped out by) years after reading it. My favorite novel of his is Deus Irae, which I’ve read at least twice.

    1. Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys 1st Edition – This one may sounds a little weird, but I look for and collect the original Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books, it’s doesn’t have to really be 1st edition just the original copyright before they were changed. That’s right, the stories have been updated several times to change jargon and make them more modern. I recently picked up the original The Secret of Red Gate Farm.

Origndtsorgf.jpg
By Source, Fair use, Link

    1. Finished Series – I kinda hate having to wait for the next book to come out. So if I stumbled on an already finished series that sparks my interest I’d much rather read that. And if I can pick up the whole thing for Kindle at a good price that helps too. It’s why I read the Chronicles of the Nameless Dwarf, which was a total hoot. I also really enjoyed The Five Kingdoms series.

Runner up: Dystopian – I used to love dystopian fiction and this had been a reason to pick up a book, but now the market is SO flooded. It’s like everything has to have a dystopian setting.

Do you related to any of these? What is something make make you instantly want to pick up a book? Leave me a comment below.

Top Ten Tuesday #20

toptentuesdayTop Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010.

April 11, 2017: Top Ten Of The Most Unique Books I’ve Read Some variations: top ten unique sounding books on my TBR, top ten most unique books I’ve read in X genre, etc.

This is a pretty big category to wrap my head around. What makes a book unique? Is it the publisher, the rarity, the binding? Is it some gimmick, some limited edition thing? Is the the plot, the characters, the setting? Any of these things could be the right answer. There are a lot of ways books can be unique, and its one of the reason so many enjoy collecting them.

For this list I’m going to focus on books the look unique. This is mostly inspired by my local used book seller and his Instagram account, browsersbookstore.  I’m going to be using post from them and other Instagram book sellers / #bookstagram to complete this list.

Top Ten Unique Books

Why? Because little books are fun and also because it’s double history, the history of the Emancipation Proclamation in a book that is history itself.

Why? I freely admit to being a James Bond fan girl (As long as we leave Daniel Craig aka WORST BOND EVER, out of it.) I am working my way through the full collection of trade paper back my sister gave me, but there is something special about first editions.

First edition Mickey Mouse reading Gullivers Travels! #arthurrackham #rarebooks #mickeymouse #childrensbooks #illustrations

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Why? The cover is beautiful enough on it’s own, but illustrations of Mickey Mouse reading Gullivers travels? Priceless!

Why? Exquisite! Plus I love all thing Arthurian and Art Nouveau, which this book combines.

Think you have everything Lord of the Rings? #fantasy #MiddleEarth

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Why? I thought I did, but I’ve never heard of this book before. (I even own The Fellowship in Mandarin Chinese, which I picked up while teaching English in China mind you.) We have a whole Tolkien shelf combing the multiple copies and different edition we have of the books. And of course my husband claims to be the ultimate Tolkien fan because he married Arwen. 😊

Some amazing #bindings bound by #Cedricchivers will be on display at the #newyorkantiquarianbookfair, visit our booth E10

A post shared by Imperial Fine Books (@imperialfinebook) on

Why? Another beautiful Art Nouveau piece of work. You could just look at these book all day long.

This finely bound Book of Common Prayer is noteworthy because of its stunning bejewelled binding after a design by William Burges, with five brass-mounted semi-precious stones on each board together with two elaborate armorial brass clasps, again set with stones. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀William Burges was one of the pre-eminent figures of the Victorian mediaeval revival. This work was commissioned by Lord and Lady Ripon. Studley Royal and St. Mary's Churches were both built for the Ripons between 1871 and 1878. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Tragically the funds for these builds came from unspent ransom cash from a kidnap that went wrong and which ended in the death of a good friend of the family, Frederick Grantham Vyner. He had been apprehended by Greek bandits during an expedition to Marathon and was shot, along with three friends, in an ensuing gun battle with armed troops. Vyner's mother and her sister Lady Ripon then decided to dedicate the unused ransom money to this memorial project. #beautiful

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Why? The history behind this amazing looking book could be a book itself. The book is in great condition looking almost new.

Why? Because it made me laugh. Chicken scratch… from scratch…KGB Chicken… who comes up with this stuff?

Why? Again it’s a little book and tiny books are cool. And somehow this one has text find inside it in two languages.

Why? In case you didn’t know my day time job is as a freelance content manager and website developer. I’ve been doing a lot of code work lately so this one just stood out, even though it on morse code and not computer code.

Bonus:

These awesome bookends…

Lovely bookends my partner gave me for my birthday a couple of years ago:).

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March 2017 Book Pick Ups

The Deliberate ReaderI am so far behind in my book pick up posts that I couldn’t hope to catch up, so I just decided to start fresh by posting just last months books.

Since our move I kinda settled down on picking up anything but kindle titles and kids books. We just have less space, and I have less time for personal reading right now. Hopefully as we get more settled in and use to our new routine that will change.

For Kindle:

The Daemoniac (Dominion Mysteries Book 1)
Why I got it: Because Kat Ross is an awesome author and I want to read more of her books. Go follow her on twitter and then check out my reviews for her other books Blood of the Prophet and Queen of Chaos.

Ella Dethroned
Why I got it: You know I forgot I had picked this one up, I’m assuming it was from Instafreebie or Book Bub. It’s the prequel to a fantasy series, and has mostly 4 and 5 star reviews. It sounds exciting so I’ll give it a shot.

The Silver Skull Preview
Why I got it: This one is going up to the front of my TBR list because it sounds so intriguing. Add Steampunk, plus spies, plus a dash of fantasy and I’m am in. (I believe this copy is just a sample though, and I will probably end up buying the full book.)

ARC:

Who Counts?: 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons
Why I got it: I got this children’s book through the LibraryThing early readers program. I requested it because it looked like a good childrens book about some of the parables of Jesus. However I had mixed feeling about it. Read my review here.

eARC:

The Waterfall Traveler
Why I got it: I am going to review this book for Xpresso Book Tour in May. It sounds like a good fantasy story, with rouges, fugitives, conspiracies and someone the power to travel through water. Also, the cover is just amazing.

Kids Books:

The Little Grumpy Cat that Wouldn’t (Little Golden Book)
Why I got it: I picked this up from my Goddaughter’s school book fair, partly because she loves Grumpy Cat and partly because this year is Little Golden Books 75th anniversary. And the thought of Grumpy cat in a Little golden Book is hilarious.

Happy Birthday, Bad Kitty
Why I got it: It was .99 cents at St. Vinny’s and I am a big sucker for collecting all the books in a series. Plus this gives me more to read than Bad Kitty vs. Uncle Murray: The Uproar at the front door, which is her favorite bad kitty book and therefore I have read it about 4,00 times.

Bad Kitty Goes to the Vet
Why I got it: Same reasons as above, but this one we got from the book fair.

Mary Poppins
Why I got it: .99 cent at St. Vinny’s and it a book I’ve always wanted to read. Now that my goddaughter is a little older I’ve started reading chapter books to her, like Winnie-the-Pooh and I think we’ll try Mary Poppins too.

The Shy Little Kitten (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: I remember reading this book as a Little Golden book when I was a kid. The step into reading version is just right for my goddaughter to practice her reading aloud.

Cinderella (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: A cheap thrift store pick up. And like I said before I like to collect books in a series, and we already have a bunch of Disney princess Step Into Reading titles.

The Sweetest Spring (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Ditto what I just said, but even more so because this one is part of a series-within-a-series of Disney princess seasonal books.

Tink’s Treasure Hunt (Step into Reading)
Why I got it: Another Thrift store find, and who doesn’t love Tink?

Misc:

National Geographic Inside the Medieval World 2017
Why I got it: This is actually what I’m reading right now. I saw it on a supermarket newsstand and picked it up because I’m intrigued by the Medieval World and a century-by-century guide is a great tool for understand the pieces of history.

 

Review: Who Counts? & A Morning with Grandpa

Because today, March 28th is Children’s Picture Book Day I’m going to share my review of the latest ARC picture books I’ve received. I don’t normally post them to my blog because they are often much shorter than my other reviews. Occasionally I will get a picture book to review and I always save them to read with my 6 year-old goddaughter.

Who Counts? 100 Sheep, 10 Coins, and 2 Sons

By Amy-Jill Levine
Pages: 40

Synopsis:

One sheep makes a difference. Without her something is missing. Now my flock is complete.

Oh, no! The man is missing his sheep! The woman is missing her coin! The father is missing his son! Can you help them find what they are looking for?

Who Counts? is a creative retelling of three popular parables: the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. As young readers count to help the characters find what s missing, Who Counts? teaches that every one of us counts in God s eyes and that everyone should feel counted.

The stories are beautifully illustrated with modern-day characters and a diversity of ethnicities so that all children will be able to see themselves in the stories.

Review:

I have mixed feelings about this book. It’s a 3-part retelling of some of the parables of Jesus. Using bright, colorful pictures it tells the story of the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the prodigal son. The first two stories are great, the ones about the sheep and the coin. But then on the third story, the lost/prodigal son, it goes kinda sideways. I agree with an earlier reviewer who said they were uncomfortable with the slant it took. In trying to make the third story more like the first two it changes the end of the parable a bit. Story-wise it makes sense, but Biblically it’s not a good interpretation. Otherwise I would be able to rate this book much higher.

Bottom Line:

Skip it. This book has a great idea, that just goes off course enough to make me uneasy with it.

A Morning with Grandpa


By Sylvia Liu
Pages: 32

Synopsis:

Mei Mei s grandpa is practicing tai chi in the garden, and Mei Mei is eager to join in. As Gong Gong tries to teach her the slow, graceful movements, Mei Mei enthusiastically does them with her own flair. Then Mei Mei takes a turn, trying to teach Gong Gong the yoga she learned in school. Will Gong Gong be able to master the stretchy, bendy poses? Winner of the LEE & LOW New Voices Award, this title celebrates, with lively spirit and humor, the special bond between grandparent and grandchild and the joy of learning new things together. Readers of all ages will want to try out some tai chi and yoga too!

Review:

A wonderful book! Both the pictures and story are just lovely. The book is about a little girl and her Grandfather spending a Sat morning together. The grandfather, Gong Gong, is outside doing Tai Chi, and the little girl, Mei Mei, wants to join. The illustrations flow with the story as they move through the poses, with Mei Mei not quite grasping the idea of Tai Chi movements. Then the story flips with Mei Mei trying to teach Gong Gong yoga moves, which he finds difficult to follow. Eventually they find a form that fits them both. A great story to use to introduce multicultural families to children, or to introduce yoga or Tai Chi to kids. The 6 year old loves this book!

Bottom Line:

Get it, if you’re looking to add more multicultural books to your child’s library. It’s a great book and has lots of potential for rereading or for classroom reading.

That’s it. What new picture books have you read lately? Let me know in the comments. And don’t forget to pick up a picture book today.