Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ten Books I'm Getting for My 9 Year Old This Summer

My 9 year old isn't much of a reader.  There isn't really a reason.  There is no issue with his ability it's more a combination of he's made up his mind that he can't read a true chapter book and is convinced he doesn't like reading.  As well, he hasn't found THAT book.  You know the book or the book series that catches you and makes you want to sneak off and read just a few more pages.  He does love audio books and listens to one every night so I know he enjoys stories so I'm hoping that if I throw enough books his way one of them will finally hook him.  Here are a few I'm going to pick up.

1.  Clues in the Attic by Cari Meister - I figure this graphic novel will be a good way to ease into reading for pleasure.  It's a mystery, it's a graphic novel, and honestly it looks really fun!

2.  Disaster Strikes: The Most Dangerous Space Missions of All Time by Jeffrey Kluger - We're very into space and this is a series of stories about the most dangerous missions which sounds like compelling reading even for a reluctant reader.

3.  Missy Piggle Wiggle and the Won't Walk the Dog Cure by Ann M. Martin - When he was little we read a Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book and he thought it was lots of fun so I'm hoping this newer iteration catches his attention.

4.  Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis - We watched the movie (which is very good) a few weeks ago because he loved reading the first two books in school so I'm hoping he'll enjoy the book as much as those books and the movie.

5.  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling - He's suddenly started talking about Harry Potter all the time and I'm hoping to hook him with the first book.

6.  Addison Cooke and the Treasure of the Incas by Jonathan W Stokes - I know nothing about this one but it's an adventure story with a bit of mystery and sounds like lots of fun.

7.  The Apothecary by Maile Meloy - This is another one I don't know much about but it's a mystery with a bit of magic and a spy so how can it be bad?

8.  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - I think he'll enjoy Dahl's incredibly visual writing style and this is short read that is lots of fun.

9.  Restart by Gordon Korman - The librarian hyped this one up before book fair last year and he absolutely had to have it.  I think now is the time he should read it!

10. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming - This is a fun action packed story with Fleming's streamlined writing and a very entertaining car with a mind of its own.

What books would you put on the stack for a hard headed 9 year old?

Monday, May 20, 2019

Ramblings from the Stacks - Why I Love the Book Blogging World

I have to admit - lately I've been spending lots of time away from the world of book blogs.  Between my newfound love of YouTube and Disney blogs and a few other things I've been visiting all kinds of different worlds and honestly this and the inevitable reading of the comments (always a bad of a day in worlds other than the book world) have made me so appreciative of the community here.  Here's some of the things I love about my experience in the World of Book Blogging

1.  Everyone is nice - In almost six years of blogging I can count on one hand the number of comments I've gotten that were even vaguely negative and even those were negative about my opinion of the book and never strayed to me personally which seems to be a rarity online.

2.  We can disagree about books and it's okay.- There have been many times where I have disagreed with a blogger friend's book opinion or vice versa and it's always okay.  I remember in particular absolutely loving The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware and Stormi over at Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My! really didn't.  We both commented on each others posts and it was okay.  I didn't take it personally that she didn't like it and vice versa (or at least I don't think she took it personally that I disagreed with her!). 

3.  We can read different genres and still be blogging friends - There are so many bloggers I follow who either read genres that I have no interest in or the other way around and yet I always look forward to their comments and enjoy reading and commenting on their blogs.

4.  We are all incredibly different people with different lives, from different places and yet the love of books is really the most important thing. - I think most of us could say that we don't know many people in our day to day lives who read like us.  All of my family are readers (expect for my 9 year old but I haven't given up hope yet!) but none of them read even close to the same number that I do and none of them seem to enjoy it as much as I do.  It's so wonderful to have found such a diverse group of people who all get that side of each other.

What do you love about the Book Blogging World?  Have you had any less than positive online experiences? 

Sunday, May 19, 2019

This Week in Reading - May 19

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble - I'm still relatively new to Shelley Noble but I've loved the books I've read from her so I'm really excited about this one.  (Blog Tour)

The House on Hallowed Ground by Nancy Cole Silverman - I've really enjoyed Silverman's Carol Childs series and I'm really excited about this series featuring a reoccurring character who is also a psychic. 

A Bitter Feast by Deborah Crombie - I love Crombie's police procedural series and am excited to read this newest one.  (Edelweiss)

Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries - I love Sabrina Jeffries so there was no way I was passing up this newest historical romance from her.

No More Time by Suzanne Trauth - I've been wanting to read this author for awhile and this cozy mystery involving a restaurant manager looks really fun.  (Author)


Reading: Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin and Taken at the Flood by Agatha Christie

Listening:  Blackberry Summer by RaeAnne Thayne

Watching:  We watched the series finale of The Big Bang Theory and Sheldon's speech killed me at the end.  We've been watching the series since the beginning and I'm sad to see it go though I do think it was time and I loved the way it ended.

Off the Blog:

I'm feeling better thankfully.  The weather is nice and my allergies are under control so everything is happy again.  Today I'm hoping to get some tomato plants in the ground.  It's a little late but hopefully better late than never.  I'd like to add in some herbs but we'll see how it goes. I didn't grow anything last year and I'm hoping to take some baby steps back into gardening this year.  Fingers crossed I get lots of delicious tomatoes.

Last week was the Tornado's last full week of school (we get out really early but go back  which ended with Field Day which means about 800 kids are floating on sugar highs, exhausted from spending all day running around outside, and slightly sunburned because there is no sunscreen that can fully protect you from Field Day.  This weekend is pretty low key partly because of that and because sometimes low key weekends are just what you need!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Ramblings from the Stacks - Why I Love the Book Blogging Community
Tuesday: TBD
Wednesday: Mistress of the Ritz - Historical Fiction Review
Thursday: Have You Seen Luis Velez - Fiction Review
Friday: Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Secret Keeper - Fiction Review

Goodreads:  The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton

Rating: Very Good
Source: Library

Description:  During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.

Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really loved the other Kate Morton books so naturally I had to pick this one up.

My Impression:  This is my third Kate Morton book and it has everything I've come to expect from Morton's book - intensely atmosphere with an intricately woven plot - but with a bit more.  The characters are more vivid than I've found them in previous books and the mystery hooked me a bit more.  Just what happened on that long ago day?  Just who had Laurel witnessed her cheerful fun loving mother oh so casually murder and why?

The present day storyline is told through Laurel Nicholson's POV.  She is the oldest daughter of Dorothy Nicholson whose past life has always been a bit of a mystery  but who is now at the end of her life.  Laurel, a well known actress, becomes obsessed (but not in an unhealthy feeling way) with determining just who her mother was and how the dead man in the garden factored in to that past.  While Laurel does have sisters they are very much side characters and not only do we never see their perspective on things but they aren't particularly fleshed out.  Because the story was so full and the focus was really on Dorothy Nicholson I don't think I even noticed this until the end.  I loved Laurel's little brother Gerry's role in the story and only wish there could have been more of a collaboration between the two but then I'm a sucker for a team style investigation so I might be a bit biased.

The 1940s storyline is a bit more of a fly on the wall POV with most of the focus on Dolly Smitham who is living in London away from her family during the war.  I was never quite sure what I thought of Dolly.  I'd think that I disliked her and then something would happen and I'd swing to feeling sorry for her or even liking her and then I'd be back at disliking her.  I was so intrigued by just what had happened to in the 1940s that led to the present day storyline and the questions of that day in the garden.

This is a long book but not one that ever felt like it dragged.  I was completely caught up in this one and thoroughly enjoyed the read.  I'm looking forward to visiting Kate Morton's world again soon.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  In fact I have another Morton book on my desk waiting to be read.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would.  This is a wonderful bit of historical fiction with a bit of mystery and all kinds of family secrets. 

Friday, May 17, 2019

Friday Fives - Five Classics I Can Realistically Read

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  Michelle over at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life   used to do a Five on Fridays that I always enjoyed and I've seen a few other variations on the theme.  As well I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd give start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much.  This is a bookish week!  After taking a hard look at my reading I've had to admit that I'm not going to make my Classic Club goals which technically comes to an end in August.  But I do want to up my reading and here are 5 classics I think I can realistically read this year - so not War and Peace.

1.  The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart - I read several Mary Roberts Rinehart years ago and I'm trying to revisit all of my favorite classic mystery authors.  After Mary Roberts Rinehart I'm tackling Josephine Tey.

2.  The Bell Jar by Sylvia Path  - Somehow I've never read this one but it's short and I think one I can I can easily get off my TBR this year.

3.  Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson - I love middle grade adventure stories and my Dad read this one to me as a bedtime story when I was a little girl.  Of course I remember nothing about it but I'd love to revisit it.

4.  The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett - I recently watched the Humphrey Bogart movie and enjoyed it and I'd really like to read the original story.

5.  The One Hundred and One Dalmations by Dodie Smith - Honestly I didn't know this was a book until recently but now I really want to read it!

What classics do you think you can realistically read this year?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Books from the Backlog - The Ivory Dagger

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!  This week's book is a Patricia Wentworth book that I somehow own but haven't read.  

Goodreads:  The Ivory Dagger by Patricia Wentworth

Blurb: When Lila Dryden is discovered standing over the dead body of her irritating fiance with a dagger in her hand, Miss Silver is called in to investigate. What her patience and particular genius uncover is Lila's talent for sleepwalking, the return of her former lover, and the victim's entire staff and circle of acquaintances - all of whom occasionally wished him dead.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I'd like to try to read all the Patricia Wentworth books and this is one I already own!

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Reading When Sick

This month has been a month of headaches - literally.  I'm not sure what exactly has been the issue - weather, allergies, just a cosmic bit of bad luck - but I've definitely not been feeling my best and my reading has taken a serious hit. 

I started this month with a big stack of my favorite topics that I was looking forward to diving into.  So far I've read about 2/3 of one and honestly I'm not loving it.  It could be that the book is actually just a bit flat.  Even worse my interest in reading is just about nil.  I've managed to keep my interest in audio books but that's about it. 

Basically, I just want to go bed and pull the covers over my head and sleep which is making reading incredibly unappealing.  I know there are some people who can curl up under a blanket and just plow through a stack of books when feeling under the weather but I'm definitely not one of them!  Can you read when sick?  Can you maintain interest in reading when you're not feeling so great?