The Girl Who Couldn’t Come Up With An Original Title…by The Behrg

the girlI received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

This is really two short stories. I did not know what they were about before I read them. I was, however, really captivated by the title.

Both short stories are about depression. This is explained by the author at the end of the stories. I did enjoy the first story, in particular. It was very gothic and gritty and quite a bit spooky. Both stories were very metaphorical and figurative.

While these stories may not be for everyone, I believe they send an important message and helps to portray depression in an understandable way. I would recommend for those that one to read something unusual. I give these short stories three stars.

 

Rating:đź“–đź“–đź“–

Advertisements

All The Light We Cannot See…by Anthony Doerr

the light

Marie-Laure is a blind girl who lives in Paris while WWII blazes over the continent. Werner is a German orphan who wishes to escape a future working in the mines his father died in. Marie-Laure flees to the walled city of Saint-Malo. Werner is forced into the German war machine.

I had been thinking about reading this novel for sometime. I actually put it off because of it being a Pulitzer Prize book. The other Pulitzer novels I read, ‘The Known World’ and ‘The Goldfinch’ I really did not enjoy .

For this novel, I will start off by agreeing with other reviews that say parts of the story are somewhat slow moving and that the back and forth timeline can be confusing. I found the fine details helped me to understand what Marie-Laure and Werner’s lives were truly like. The alternating POV, while somewhat confusing, helped to build the suspense of the storyline. This novel is very heavy in descriptions. You can almost hear the subtle sounds that Marie-Laure hears and how her mind turns them into images.

 Until you read this book, it is difficult to understand what a blind girl in occupied France or even a sixteen year old boy sent to war must have gone through. Though I have read many stories set in WWII , I find they all tell a different and unique view point (For example, I never knew the story of Saint-Malo before reading this novel). While the ‘Book Thief’ has a similar main character (German orphans during WWII) the stories and language are totally different. This novel’s prose was very poetic and beautiful where as the language of ‘The Book Thief’ is more gritty and gothic.

Some reviews I read for this novel, said that WWII is an overdone subject. I disagree. To me there can never be too many novels about WWII. The reason is that this is one of the most significant periods in history and effected billions of people. WWII is not that far removed from my generation but those that lived through the war are now almost gone. Future generations will only know what they read in books or on the internet about WWII. I truly want my children to know what past generations sacrificed so they could lead the life they now live.

I give it five stars.

Rating:đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

That Darkness… by Lisa Black

Maggie Gardiner is a crime scene tech in Cleveland, Ohio. Someone is killing all the hardcore criminals. Maggie sets out to find the answers. Little does she know that the killer is one of Cleveland’s finest. (this is revealed in the very beginning of the book).

This is a police and crime scene novel. The crime scene investigation was very realistic and graphic. The author herself is a crime scene technician so the details are well described.There was also some of the history of Cleveland and the Rockefeller mansion that was interesting. There really weren’t as  many twists and turns as  I  would like. Most of the story line was set at the beginning of the novel although the ending was somewhat of a surprise for me. The characters were well-developed and interesting. I would recommend this  novel for anyone that likes police/CSI type books with a gritty and unique story line. I give this novel four stars and look forward to the other books in the Gardiner and Renner series.

I received a copy of this novel via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Rating:đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–

Book Blitz…How two:Have a Successful Relationship…by Phil and Maude Mayes

How Two Cover

How two: Have a Successful Relationship
By Phil and Maude Mayes
Genre: non-fiction, self-help, relationships – adult romance
Publisher: Olive Branch communications, Inc.

In “How Two: Have a Successful Relationship” Phil and Maude describe a simple step by step understanding that is easily accessible to everyone. They share their personal experience of how it’s possible to have a loving passionate relationship without conflict and alienating arguments, one based on shared core values and a complete acceptance of each other’s individuality. They have outlined an effective process for creating mutual solutions and a method of practice that they hope will help spread peace in the world, one relationship at a time. Their strong desire to make their direct experience available to all couples shines through their writing and will renew your faith in what is possible and attainable.
In this book you will learn:

* How to find mutual solutions to decision making and problem solving
* How to remain an individual within the relationship
* How to break the vicious cycle of anger and recrimination
* How to avoid the pitfalls that create separation and estrangement
* How to keep that original loving connection to your partner

This book is a gem. It’s short, it’s practical, it’s based on real life experience. If you want to improve your relationship, this is the book for you.

PhilAndMaude1-850x713

Author Bios
Maude and Phil Mayes live in Santa Barbara, California, having started in New York City and London, England respectively. They have been writing and speaking about spreading peace one relationship at a time for many years. They wrote the book Secrets of a Successful Relationship Revealed, and write a weekly relationship newsletter, as well as a weekly blog available on their websitehttp://PhilandMaude.com. Phil and Maude are the producers of a number of relationship videos, as well as the series Kit and Kat Relationship Experts, all of which are to be found on their YouTube channel The Couples Project. They have been featured in a number of live interviews and write articles, both online and in print.

https://www.facebook.com/PhilAndMaude
https://twitter.com/PhilAndMaude
http://www.PhilandMaude.com
On Amazon: http://amzn.to/1O1yklg

bookblitz banner-3

Kindred…by Steve Robinson

kindred

Jefferson Tayte, an American genealogist, is on the hunt for this birth parents. His search leads him to Germany where he must untangle his family tree by delving into the horrors of WWII.
I have no idea why everyone doesn’t know what a fantastic author Steve Robinson is. He has an uncanny talent for describing scenes that paint such a detailed picture in my mind that I feel as if I can reach out and touch the characters. I first discovered Robinson’s works when he was a self published author. Now he has become quiet popular. I recently found copies of this books at my local library here in Florida.IMG_0415

I was first intrigued by the description of his first book ‘In the Blood’ as a genealogy mystery.  All the books in the series revolve around genealogist Jefferson Tayte researching someone’s family history.The novels take place in Europe but Tayte is from America. To me this is brilliant because it allows readers on both sides of the pond to identify with the novel.

Kindred is the fifth book in the series. It is fast paced and multilayered . This novel focuses on Tayte researching his own family history (he was adopted under mysterious circumstances as an infant). The story line did remind me a little of Jodi Picoult’s book ‘The Storyteller’ but this novel focuses on Tayte exploring his mysteries family past. 

Kindred was a five star read for me. Robinson always keeps me eagerly anticipating the next Jefferson Tayte novel. I recommend all five of Steve Robinson’s books (‘To The Grave’ being my favorite’).
I was given a copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

Rating:đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance…Tanille Edwards-Book Tour Review

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Title: Jordan and Justine’s Weekend Adventures for Wildlife Alliance
Author: Tanille Edwards
Genre: Children’s Book

Synopsis:
Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures® for Wildlife Alliance brings children right into the center of animal life at a wildlife conservation center. Jordan and Justine use their magical powers to explore the world of dolphins, to find out how laws can protect wildlife, and to learn what it means to be a mammal. Perfect for children ages 7 to 9. By Tanille Edwards and Latoya Edwards.

2016 is the year to take a stand for Wildlife!
There are animals that need our help. Author, Tanille Edwards and publishing company, Fire Flies Entertainment have partnered with the national organization Wildlife Alliance to share 50% of the proceeds from each Wildlife book from the Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures series sold to the organization.

Review:
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I heard about this book, I jumped at the chance to review it. My kids will be attending field trips to our local animal conservation center in our area, so this book came at a perfect time.
I love books that introduce children to situations or places that they will be encountering. One thing that I noticed right away, is that the animals are in a conservation center and not a zoo. This book teaches children that animals are in the center for their protection and not just our own enjoyment (as they would be in a zoo or circus). Respecting animals is the central theme of this book, which is something I rarely seem to see in  other children’s books.
The dialogue was easy to understand and the illustrations were wonderful. My children especially loved the illustration of the Koala and the Koala’s unique foot. This is a perfect Earth Day read. I would recommend for children 7 and up and would be a great follow up to animal related field trip or family outing. 

Author Bio:
Tanille is the co-author and creator of the children’s green book series “Jordan & Justine’s Weekend Adventures.” She is also the author of the new media young adult novels with music “Cameo by Tanille,” and “Broken by Tanille.”

The Undercover Starlet Journal is a title Tanille created to inspire young women and has extended Undercover Starlet into brand extensions that appear throughout her novels.

Tanille has been writing music and books since age 16. She earned an MBA at 21 and graduated magna cum laude.

Readers of her latest young adult romance novel “Broken by Tanille” get free music downloads of her new Pop R&B hits “All of Me,” “Feel It,” “Baby Comeback to Me,” “It’s Not Okay,” and “What’s a Girl to Do” all written, performed and co-produced by Tanille.

The Undercover Starlet Reading Project is a new project we’ve launched, tasked with inspiring young teens in urban communities to reads and express themselves. We are committed to going above and beyond to reach youth with inspiring messages.

Buy Cameo by Tanille on  Amazon now.
Buy Broken  by Tanille on   Amazon now.

www.Tanille.com
Twitter:@MilanParkAve
www.facebook.com/BrokenbyTanille

Links for this title

Website Link: www.jordangogreen.com

Blog: http://gogreenkids2.blogspot.com/

Twitter: @JordanGoGreen1

Find this title on: Amazon now.

Enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card here.

jordanjustinebanner

The Silent Twin…by Caroline Mitchell

silent twin

One twins goes missing on a desolate country farm. The other twin stays silent about what happened to her sister. Police officer Jennifer Knight is sent to the home as a family liaison officer. The twins parents both seem as if they could be responsible. Knight uses her police skills and sixth sense to try to find the girl in time.
The book was not as spooky as the cover and title led me to believe. (Although there were a few spooky scenes).I found the plot of this book to be somewhat fast paced.  It kept me questioning who did it. Just when I thought I had the mystery of the kidnaper figured out, the storyline would twist and turn.

I liked the character of Jennifer Knight and how she is not a  perfect person but is excellent at her job. The conclusion reminded me a little of ‘Dark Places’ because it had a double twist. I found the novel a wonderful ‘who done’ it. It did lag a bit in the middle, for me, but definitely picked up quickly. I also did get a little confused in the police terms and ranks since this book is based in the UK and I am used to American police structure but I easily remedied this googling the terms.

I may read the other DC Knight books. I  would recommend for any crime and thriller lovers out there. I give it four stars.

 

Rating:đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–

Library Book Sale – Alachua County Friends of The Library

IMG_0371When I was about ten or twelve, I remember going to a huge library sale and being so excited to browse and buy so many books at a super low price. So recently I’ve been looking at the http://www.booksalefinder.com website for such a sale in my area. Although there are a few small library sales, in the Central Florida area, there was nothing that was really as amazing as I remember. Then I noticed that the sale for Alachua county (Gainesville) said HUGE next to it on the book sale sight.

The Friends of the Library of Alachua County have it’s book sale twice and year, in the spring and fall. Since the spring sale, this year, happened to be on my birthday, I decided I had to make the 2 1/2 hour trip.

I talked my mom in to going with me since my husband had to stay home with the kids. My mom and I decided to get there near the beginning, as I absolutely hate the idea of not getting first dibs . We ended up getting there about fifteen minutes after the sale started. Let me tell you that those people who think physical books are a thing of the past,never saw this book sale.

Gainesville is home to the University of Florida, so it’s basically a college town. On a Saturday morning the streets were pretty vacant until we got close to the book sale. There were people and cars everywhere. My mom ended up having to drop me off while she looked for a parking space.

The sale has it’s own warehouse space that they use for the sale. The rest of the year they store and sort the books there. By 9:15 it was packed full of people and by packed I mean Walt Disney World on New Years packed.

Everything was amazing well organized. Trade fiction, mass market fiction, mystery, young adult, classics, and children were all separate. Non-fiction was divided up by very specific categories. They also have DVD’s, games, comics, art, and puzzles. The busiest sections were classics and young adult.  Also ,the DVD section was crazy but since I didn’t have much interest in DVD’s, I stayed away from that section.FullSizeRender-5.jpg

The sale is run entirely by volunteers. As books are  snapped up volunteers restock from categorized boxes. I figured this must be because they don’t have space to fit all the books on the shelves at the beginning.

Within each category books seemed to be more of less randomly ordered. However, each authors books were grouped together and popular author’s books were in trays under the book tables. This made it easier for me to look for some Clive Cussler books for my dad. In trade fiction and hardcover fiction female authors were on one side with male authors on the other. They do say that as the sale goes on that the books become  less and less organized.IMG_0397IMG_0403.JPGwell FullSizeRender-3.jpg

When my mother and I got around to getting in line the line was looped around the building. It  took less then 20 minutes to get through the line though. It was super efficient at check out.

t .IMG_0395

My mom and I decided to have lunch and come back later after the initial crowds died down. When we can back around eleven it was much easier to get a parking space and it was a lot less crowded (even though young adult was still packed). I  found more books but soon realized that the really really desirable books were pretty much gone.

All totaled I ended up getting three huge bags of books for under $80.00 (my arm hurt for days afterward from carrying them around). I would say I got close to 100 books, almost entirely fiction. I bought everything from brand new releases  to vintage books from the 1930’s- 1980’s.

 

I wanted to point a few things out and give tips to anyone going for the first time..

-You need to bring your own boxes or bags. We found large bags work much better as boxes get awkward.

-Expect to have to look for a parking space for awhile. Police are there to direct traffic but it’s still tough to find a spot Saturday morning.

-It says no kids under 12. We followed this rule but there were still kids there. I personally would not bring my kids to the first day of the sale. It’s impossible for them to browse and they will be shoved, pushed, etc.

-Get there early if you want the very desirable books. If you just want to browse, go later when the crowds die down.

-Make a list ahead of time, it’s hard to remember while your there what books you already might have.

-They only take cash/checks and you must have ID for a check.

-There are no strollers or carts allowed on the first day.

-Most books are color coded for .25,.50,.75, and 1.00. They have signs with the color codes and the codes are also on the back of the volunteer’s shirts (brilliant). New release hardcover can be a bit more $1.00-$3.00  but they are marked with the price.   The rare books in the collector’s corner and books on CD are also higher but marked.

-There is a 20 books and under express register.

-You must pay for things sold in the collector’s corner there and not at  the main line.

-The comic books and art are outside in tents and you also pay there for these items.

-Really large orders of five boxes or more can be held for you outside but you must sign in and bring your own boxes

-There is a pick up area because books are very heavy.

The sale usually lasts for five days. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday are full price. Tuesday is 1/2 price and Wednesday everything left is .10. We never made  to subsequent days because of the drive but we might try it in the fall.

IMG_0389-2

These photos at the bottom are  the stack of my books that I purchased for myself. They are waiting for there new Container Store bookshelf. These are minus the books I bought for my parents, husband, and kids. I also show the covers of some of my favorites.

The Friends of the Alachua County Library website is  http://folacld.org.

It sounds crazy and it was super crowded but I had so much fun. For me there is a thrill in the hunt. I plan on going to as many sales as I can. I already have the fall Sale in October on the calendar.

IMG_0411

IMG_0409.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry…by Fredrik Backman

grandmother

Elsa is a seven year old girl who is teased for being different at school. Her greatest weapon is her Grandmother. Granny is a wildly excentric and imaginative former doctor. She creates a whole world for Elsa in their fairytale stories. When Granny dies, Elsa feels alone and isolated until she is enlisted by Granny (in a note) to complete a mission to tell those that Granny offended, that she is sorry.
I previously had read Fredrik Backman’s book, ‘A Man Called Ove’. Ove is one of my all time favorite books and characters. Beckman’s ability to create lovable older people is absolutely amazing. Elsa, is very cute in  this story. I did love her as a character. Having two seven year olds myself, I did find her overly precociousness and her worldly knowledge rather unbelievable for a seven year old. To me Elsa’s personality is more of a quirky thirty year old.
   I didn’t quite find this to be a page turner. It lagged quite a bit in the middle and had many long drawn out descriptions of Granny and Elsa’s fairyland. I did find the story cute and endearing and had a strong message about communities and families. I also loved the cast of characters . They were all unique and lovable. In the end I came to really love Granny and how she was not a perfect person but more of a perfect character. 

 Overall a good read. I would recommend for anyone that loves a nice feel good book. Overall four stars.

Rating:đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–

The One-In-A-Million Boy…by Monica Wood

one in a million
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A boy scout dies suddenly. His absentee father decides to take on his scout project, assisting a 104 year old women with chores around her home. The elderly woman, Ona, is a  somewhat grumpy but lovable Lithuanian immigrant. Throughout the book, pieces of her life come to the surface . The characters in the novel soon embark on a quest to set Ona up as the Guinness Book of World’s Record’s oldest living driver.

   I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It is a charming and bitter sweet story. The odd but gentle boy and Ona form an amazing friendship. The characters were very well developed and likable. I almost expected Ona to be sitting beside me when I looked up from the book. 

 The novel begins sadly. It lets us know from the beginning that the young boy has died unexpectedly. It then takes on the stories of how the remaining characters move on with their lives. It also incorporates flash backs for the boy’s visits to Ona.

This novel uses a combination of scenes from the present, scenes from the past, world record holders stats, and snippets of Ona’s recording of her life story. The tape recordings, especially, added great amount of humor to the book. It tells us only Ona’s answers but not the questions asked. As a result we are left to interpret her answers. I found these recordings especially hilarious and touching.

This book is not action packed thriller.It is just a wonderful story of love and relationships.’The One-In a-Million Boy’ reminded me of ‘A Man Named Ove ‘. If you loved  Ove  you will most likely love Ona too.

I alternated between four and five stars for this novel. I finally settled on five stars. I gave it the higher rating because I think it sends a really beautiful message. We should spend more time listing and spending time with the elderly of our society. They have so much to give us. 

Rating: đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–đź“–