Friday, December 13, 2013

Book Review: Magic Words

I received this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion.

I was super excited when I saw this book. The cover alone drew me in. I love mythologies and traditional stories from other cultures so I just knew I had to read this one. Let me first say that the drawings are absolutely amazing! The colors are so rich and there is so much happening that I could spend so much time just looking at them.

The story is rather simple and is about a time when animals and people could talk to each other and could shift into one or the other. It is a very simple translation of an Inuit ancient oral tradition. I think that is perfect for younger readers or those who are delayed like my son.

My son LOVED the pictures in this and kept asking me to scroll back and forth on my ereader to show him the ones he really loved. That right there is a winner for me!

I give this book a solid 5 out of 5 stars!

Book Review: Cast Iron Cooking With Sisters on the Fly by Irene Rawlings

15825721I recieved this book from netgalley in exchange for my honest review. Due to my abscense from blogging I am just now getting around to catching up on posting my netgalley reviews.

I was excited when I saw this cookbook. I love cooking with my cast iron pan. So I was rather disappointed when I saw just how many recipes there were that had nothing to do with cast iron cooking. I did like the layout of the book and pictures that accompanied the recipes.

The book has does a good job with giving the throw together food and cook it over a fire feel  that reminds me of the very few times I have been out camping.  It has some interesting recipes, though there were a number I honestly do not ever see me making. I enjoyed browsing through it and spent some extra time in the cocktail section (though I don't drink much in the way of alcohol). I'm still scratching my head on what cocktails have to do with cast iron.

Over all it was a decent book and was fun to flip through. I don't see it being a permanent fixture on my shelf but I can see how people who enjoy country recipes would want to read and try so many of the recipes. It wasn't a bad book but I don't think it was personally a book for a Jersey Girl like me.

I give the book 3 stars.

Book Review: A Child's Good Morning Book by Margaret Wise Brown Illustrated by Karen Katz

6081491A few years back my mother in law bought this book for my son. At that time he wasn't much into reading and would not sit still. Fortunately, over time he has mellowed out and has really taken to being read to. While this book is meant for children younger than my son who is six due to his learning disabilities this is still in the right reading range for him. For most other children this is good for 4 and under.

A very simple book with just the right amount of words. It is not overly complicated so it is easy for children to follow. But what really makes this book are the illustrations by Karen Katz. They are bright beautiful pictures. They have a patchwork quilt quality to them and the little toddlers that are depicted could not be more adorable.

My son really enjoys this book. When asked to pick a book last night for me to read to him this was the one that he picked. I will definately keep an eye out for more books illustrated by Karen Katz as I truly loved her artistic style.

I give this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Book to Movie Challenge 2014

Book to Movie Challenge: The Sequel

 Hosted by doingdeweydecimal
Although there will be a wrap-up post for the 2013 challenge later, I’d like to thank everyone who participated for making this challenge such fun that I can’t wait to host it again next year. Plus, can you believe all of the movies based on books that came out this year?! Doing this challenge, I’ve been amazed at the number of book to movie adaptations there are and I’ve loved seeing some great books brought to life on screen.
Like last year, the rules are simple and few. I’ll post a linky where you can share your reviews, but this thing works on the honor system. If you want to challenge yourself to only watch movies coming out this year or to make sure you always read the book and watch the movie during 2014, that’s great. But I won’t hold you to it :) Personally, I usually count two hours of a TV show as enough to call it watched since that’s about as long as most movies. Again though, this challenge is all about having fun, so it’s really up to you.
To enter, just click through to the linky at the bottom of this post and link to a post on your blog mentioning the challenge and the challenge level you’re attempting. You can change challenge levels at any time and the challenge levels are the same as last year:
Movie Fan - read 3 books and watch their movies
Movie Devotee - read 6 books and watch their movies
Movie Lover - read 9 books and watch their movies
Movie Aficionado - read 12 books and watch their movies
Movie Auteur - read 24 books and watch their movies
This year, I’ve decided to make this a little more fun by adding a giveaway at some point during the year (NOT contingent on progress in the challenge), as well as a few read-a-longs (The Maze Runner in September anyone?). Other than that, everything is pretty much the same. Add an e-mail to the linky if you want my quarterly check-in posts e-mailed to you. Otherwise, feel free to put gibberish in that spot since inlinkz won’t let you leave it blank. Happy reading and watching!

Enter Here

Picture Credits: background photo from lusi, font source here, some design using this site

I am going to go for Movie aficionado which is 12 books and movies. That's one a month!

100 Books in a Year Challenge 2014

100 Books in a Year Banner
Welcome to the 100 Books in a Year Challenge 2014! Please see below for all the details of the challenge. Enjoy and have fun! :D
Sign-up Details
To sign up, make a post on your blog about participating in the challenge and link it up below. Feel free to use the banner above, however, a link via the image back to this post, so others can join the challenge if they wish, would be much appreciated.
Challenge Info
  • Timeline: 01 Jan 2014 – 31 Dec 2014
  • Rules: Read 100 books in 2014 (any genre)
  • You don’t have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.
  • You can join at anytime. All books read in 2014 count towards the challenge regardless of when you sign up.
  • Audiobooks are accepted.
  • Only fiction, no non-fiction.
  • This challenge can crossover with other challenges.
  • You don’t have to have a blog to join in – for those without a blog but who use Goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing etc, you can add the URL to where you track your books. If you don’t have a URL at all then choose a name you would like to use and then copy and paste the following link:
  • At the beginning of each month I will be posting an open thread so you can discuss the books you’ve read and/or link up your reviews.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

7th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Challenge 2014

7th Annual Graphic Novel & Manga Challenge 2014 

                            Graphic Novels


Hosted by

The 7th Year of this Challenge starts in 2014!!

It's time to start signing up for the 2014 challenge now.  Trying to keep things simple this year.  Only change is we will have 3 levels of play this year.  Please write a sign-up post on your blog and then sign-up below with a link to your specific sign-up post (NOT to your home page).  

What counts:  graphic novels, collected trade editions, manga, comic strip collections, comic books. In print or digital. Anything else you feel is suitable.  My criteria is if it has either frames OR speech bubbles it counts.  I'm not going to be the comic police but if you are unsure, ask me in the comments any given month.

Here is how the Challenge will play out this year:

runs from Jan.1 - Dec. 31, 2014


Modern Age: read and review 12 books during the year (that's only 1 book a month)

Bronze Age: read and review 24 books during the year (Can you handle 2 books a month.)

Silver Age: read and review 52 books during the year (Are you up to a book a week!)

This will be my first time participating in this challenge. I am going to go for Bronze Age. That's 2 a month. I look forward to this as I've been meaning to read more comics/graphic novels. 

I Love Picture Books Reading Challenge 2014

I Love Picture Books
Reading Challenge

For all of you who still love picture books but find they don't qualify for your other challenges. . . You know you're going to read them, they might as well count!

  • Challenge runs from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014
  • Read picture books
  • Pick a number and go for it. Twelve too easy? Go for 20. Piece of cake? Go for 40.
  • Books you own and library check outs count. So do ebooks and re-reads.
  • Please post about the challenge and sign up with a direct link.
  • A blog is not necessary, just link to where you talk about the challenge
  • Reviews are not necessary but would be nice (so we know which ones to read ourselves!) A link for reviews will be posted in January.

For this reading challenge I plan on reading 125 picture books with my son. Yeah you read that right. 125! We read over 75 books this summer alone so I think we can easily do it. 

Books Read For Challenge
1. Life is a Bowl Full of Cherries by Vanita Oelschlager 
2. Kobee Manatee by Robert Scott Thayer
3. Donald Duck and the Super Sticky Secret 
4. My Dad by Charles Fuge
5. More Parts by Ted Arnold

6. The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord/ Janet Burroway

7. Just My Friend & Me by Mercer Mayer

8. Click Clack Moo by Doreen Cronin


I'm Back

I'm back
Photo courtesy of Adi Respati

After a nearly 5 month absence I'm back to blogging. A number of things have happened in the last 5 months that culminated in my absence from blogging. Among them were school problems with my son, 2 serious family emergencies and other such important things that take precedence over blogging.

Over the next few days I will be doing some cleaning and spiffing up of the blog to prepare it for going into 2014. 

In November I participated in National Novel Writing Month aka NaNoWriMo. For those who have never heard of it NaNoWriMo is all about writing 50,000 words during the month of November. I'm proud to say that I won this year. I had tried the two previous years but had failed spectacularly. Third time was the charm! So, yeah I'm patting myself big time on the back.

That leads me into my plans and goals for my blog going into the New Year.

Number 1: I plan on writing 350,000 words in 2014. I plan on finishing my NaNoWriMo novel which is part of a series of fantasy romance novels. I also have a series of post-apocolyptic new adult romance novels planned. As to publishing said works...well if I ever find that I can edit them into something I think people will want to read then I most likely will go the route of self-publishing. I will be posting on my blog updates my progress

Number 2: I plan on entering a couple of reading challenges this year. Among them is to read 125 picture books, 100 non-picuture books, once a month review of a book and its movie counterpart, and lastly 24 graphic novels/ comic books.

Number 3: In regards to reading my review policy it is changing for right now. At the moment I am NOT accepting review requests. Why? Because I have a tight schedule and I don't want to make promises of posting a review by a certain time when I simply cannot guarentee that I can keep it. That is not to say I will not be reading any ARCs/Review copies. It is just that all ARCs/Review copies will be of books I have personally requested from an author/book tour/netgalley/etc. That doesn't mean I wont take book suggestions I just wont be taking requests. So for the most part my reading is purely pleasure. I apologize to the wonderful authors out there who so readily offer up their books for free reviews. I love you guys and I know how important blogger reviews are to you. I just can't make promises at this time. I will continue to read mainstream and indie books as I always have.

Number 4: I will now be posting movie reviews. A large number will be movies available for streaming from Netflix, some new releases, some oldies, some indies, and of course some foreign. These are purely for fun and I have no set amount that I will post. Hubby and I tend to rent/watch one or two movies on the weekends so

Number 5: Giveaways...ah one of my favorite things in the world is giveaways. There is nothing like that feeling when you get an email that says congratulations. I often enter giveaways when the mood hits me. So you may see posts on here from giveaways I enter. I also plan on hosting a few giveaways this year. Because they are a LOT of work and take a LOT of time I will most likely only be doing blog hop giveaways.

Number 6: I am pledging to blog 3-5 times a week. Some days may have 2 or more others may have only 1 or none. I also will be hooking up more with non-giveaway blog hops. I also am looking to communicate and actively follow more blogs. I miss the friendships I had with others on my old blog. I was always talking with my fellow bloggers and I think that it is important to be able to share you passion (in this case reading) with fellow bloggers.