Book Reviews by Well Read Reviews

Redbubble Review & FREE Gift Certificate Giveaway!

What is RedBubble?

RedBubble.com is a unique, quirky, and creative online community dedicated to artists and artist created products. From all over the globe, you will find everything from unique mixed media and graphic arts based on an artists’ own life interpretations to — my personal favorite — artist created fan works!

Whether you are an art enthusiast looking for the next big artist to display in your home, or looking for a special Dr. Who kid’s t-shirt, you will find all your unique art needs at RedBubble.com! The part about RedBubble.com is that they are all created by artists in the community all around you – no professional educational degree required.

Per Wikipedia: Redbubble is a marketplace founded in 2006 by Martin Hosking, and creates customized products using original user submitted artwork. Some images have been the subject of media controversy.

My RedBubble Review

I am a geek – and proud of it. My initial discovery of RedBubble happened during a google search for unique t-shirts for kids in attempt to match woolies I had planned to knit and sell or knit and give as gifts. I wanted kids shirts that were witty, creative, geeky, and something you would not find at Target or Old Navy. Not only did RedBubble have amazing fan-art based on some of my favorite fandoms – Harry Potter, Sherlock, Star Wars, Dr. Who, but the products you can purchase using these arts were immense.

The great thing about RedBubble is that, if you are an artist, you can upload and sell your artwork. Can you imagine seeing people walk away with your design on a t-shirt, or hanging in their home?

When you find an image that you like, you can order the image in varying products such as:

  • Adult T-Shirts (with various fits)
  • Stickers
  • iPhone & iPod Cases
  • Samsung Galaxy Cases
  • iPad Cases
  • Prints (in varying finishes and sizes)
  • Poster
  • Cards
  • Kids Clothes
  • Calendars

What I Selected and Received from RedBubble:

 

I think it may be obvious what some of my interests are – The Wizard of Oz and Dr. Who. I chose an 8×10 image print of the image with The Munchkins and the Police Box. I also ordered a larger matted image of an Italian The Wizard of Oz Poster.

When ordering, I did find that I was disappointed that not all artist images carried the same available product selection. I am not entirely sure why, either. Some images will allow you to have only prints, and sometimes only small prints. While other artists will give you a full selection; you can have large matted prints, framed prints, mounted prints, or t-shirts, cellphone cases, etc.

I do wish that I was able to choose the size of the print AND the size of the mat. As you can see in my framed photo, the mat takes up the majority of the frame whereis I had hoped the image would be larger. Unfortunately this was not an option available. Because I loved the image so much, I took what I could get.

As of right now the Munchkins and the Police Box is only available on a t-shirt and stickers, while at the time I ordered, I was allowed to get an 8×10 print. If I had it my way, however, I would have gotten a larger matted print like I was able to do with the Italian Wizard of Oz Poster. I will have to, instead, matt the image myself to match my Italian poster. But that is okay with me.

I went to Target and purchased a black picture frame that encompassed the matted Italian Wizard of Oz Poster image perfectly. I just adore this image so much that I took down a picture of one of my kids. (Sorry, Carli.)

In regards to product selection, I can only imagine that the reason why the product availability is different for every artist’s image on RedBubble is as simple as the settings on the artist’s behalf. My best recommendation is: If you see something you want and not the way you want it, ask the artist! 

I also found it peculiar that both products I had selected were shipped separately rather than together. My Munchkins print was shipped in a cardboard-based envelope that had gotten wet in the mail and had opened. I was surprised that I received the image at all, and that the image, itself, wasn’t damaged. I think this was partially due to manhandling through the postal service and weather and it was honest to goodness good luck that my print arrived nicely. My Italian Wizard of Oz Poster was sent all the way from Spain and was wrapped like a beast (in a good way!). I had layers upon layers to unwrap and it arrived like perfection. I found that, even though it was an international delivery, it arrived quickly (within days of the other package). The question still remains, though, who EXACTLY is the printing service for RedBubble if RedBubble is not the printing service, itself?

Other than the lack in printing choices for my particular prints, and the confusing delivery – my experience was so pleasant. I had great customer service, fast delivery, and high quality items. Below I am including some other prints you can find exclusively on RedBubble.com.

Some of My Personal Favorite Finds on RedBubble.com

T-Shirts/Hoodies

The RedBubble Giveaway

RedBubble has been so generous as to offer a $50 gift certificate to their store. Entering is easy!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Current RedBubble Coupons & Deals

I am always looking for deals when it comes to my shopping.

Spring 2014 Free Shipping on Tees
Free Shipping on Tees from Redbubble! Use ‘SPG2014′ at checkout to save big! One day only, Wednesday, April 23rd! Shop Now!

Time Together: Me and Dad by Maria Catherine Book Review | Well-Read Reviews

Time Together: Me and Dad by Maria Catherine Book Review

Do you have any memories you would like to share of time spent with you and your Dad? For me, personally, my most prominent memory as a child was reading with my Dad.  I contribute my love for books because of how often he read with me and I am grateful for those memories.

My memories of my childhood did not revolve around what my parents did or did not gave me, but instead, what they did with me. I believe Time Together: Me and Dad may be a great reminder of just how simple time together with your child can be and how important the little things truly are in the eyes of a child.

What about you? What childhood memories really stand out with your father?

Time Together: Me and Dad Book Summary

Every day moments between a father and a child are captured in this sweet book. From quiet talking time to favorite song time, these small moments create lasting memories.

Time Together: Me and Dad Book Review

Time Together: Me and Dad is a sweet little book full of many ideas for Dad’s and their child. With simple phrases such as “quiet talking” and “bear hugs”, you will be bound to find many different simple (yet meaningful) things to do with your child that require little financial output with the biggest rewards.

Spending time with your child doesn’t have to be complicated and Time Together: Me and Dad proves just that with a simple and enjoyable story.

Rating:

Sam’s Birthmark by Martha Griffin Book Review | Well-Read Reviews

Sam’s Birthmark by Martha Griffin Book Review

Sams Birthmark Book Review

Sam’s Birthmark Book Summary

Sam’s Birthmark is a story about a boy with a birthmark and how every child is unique and special in their own way. Through illustrations and easy to understand words, Sam’s Birthmark shows that each of us has something about us that makes us one-of-kind. Sam s Birthmark is a great teaching tool to have this conversation with children starting at an early age.

Sam’s Birthmark Book Review

I was born with a large birthmark on the back of my leg, in the crevice of my knee. When my Mom saw it for the first time, I believe she said she cried; wondering just how big it would get and how it would affect me and my self-image. That was the early 80′s.

It never did get any bigger and I forget it’s there half the time. In fact, I don’t recall anyone ever saying anything to me about it in my childhood years. That being said, I wasn’t born with the birth mark on the major focus part, such as Sam, who was born with a birthmark on his face. I can understand how some children may become self-conscious as they grow older and become more aware of their body and how it is the same and/or different than others around them. So, I think introducing positive messages to our youth is as crucial as ever.

Sam’s Birthmark by Martha and Grant Griffin is a cutesy (although not exceptionally well-written) children’s book about a little boy and what makes him special. The book, like mentioned in it’s book summary, is written with basic text. I think their statement is an accurate representation. There is not anything awe-inspiring about the organization of their words, as it appeared obvious to me that they tried hard to make things rhyme, and it didn’t always feel natural or purposeful. But I digress, the message within Sam’s Birthmark is a positive message that isn’t always talked about — birthmarks are beautiful!

Audience-wise, I think Sam’s Birthmark would be perfect for ages 4 and under. Although 5 and 6 year-olds entering school for the first time, may need the occasional positive pick-me up if they suffer from insecurities of their own.

 

Rating:

The Cover for Ransom Rigg’s “Hollow City” Has Been Revealed!

Hollow City Cover Reveal

Are you a fan of Ransom Riggs? I am.

I read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children over the summer and adored it. Imagine my surprised when I found out that there was going to be a sequel, Hollow City. Eric of Quirk Books sent me a preview of the cover so I just had to share!

If you haven’t read the first book, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, then I highly recommend picking it up so you will be ready when the sequel comes out on January 14th, 2014. Be there or be.. hollow?

The Snugg Review on the Nexus 7 Case Cover

Last week I received a wonderful gift in the mail, The Snugg Nexus 7 Case Cover in Black. This delivery had me very excited as I have heard of The Snugg before, and have always wanted to try one of their products for myself. The below post is my experience using the Snugg Nexus 7 case cover.

About the Snugg Case

The Snugg, in my opinion, is a leading case company for electronic devices. While my specific case was tailored specifically for the Google 7 Nexus, The Snugg offers cases for a variety of other electronics  including:

  • IPad (1-5 & Mini)
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 8
  • HTC
  • Microsoft Surface
  • Blackberry Playbook
  • Nook
  • …. and more!

The Snugg Nexus 7 Case is a premium case created specifically for the new tablet from Google. The leather is tough with the inside of a soft suede like material so I am rest assured that it will not scratch my device. While frequently subjected to the inside of my purse (and miscellaneous objects therein) the surface of the case has managed to avoid scratches and marks you would otherwise see in other leather products.

A week later and it still looks fresh out of the box!

The Snugg Nexus 7 Features

  1. Resilient PU leather
  2. Cut outs for the connection port, headphone ports, camera and sensor on the front and volume/zoom controls.
  3. Case folds to stands up perfectly for watching movies or reading and folds into the perfect typing position.
  4. Elasticated hand strap for a comfortable, great hold while walking or relaxing.
  5. High quality, soft, black nubuck fibre interior that’s wipe-clean, to prevent internal scratches device.
  6. Velcro tab inside the case, which is used to secure your tablet tightly in place when cased ensuring a secured device.
  7. Stylus loop to hold your stylus pen.
  8. Automatic sleep/wake so the battery on your Nexus lasts even longer!

My Experience with the The Snugg Nexus 7 Case

The case that I was previously using was an unnamed cheap $7 Kindle Fire case off Amazon.com. (In fact I went to find it to link directly to it so you could compare, but it was no longer even listed!) While the case was a good deal, in terms of superficial protection, the features that I needed, were lacking.

The biggest issue I had with my Amazon case was that it did not “stand up” securely. It had multiple “levels” of adjustment but because the device, itself, it could not support it. It could sit all the way up, but not at an incline as promised. While this may have something to do with the fact that it was not made specifically for my Nexus, I would think that it should have been able to do as mentioned with the device being the same size.

Oh well.

I did not have this issue with The Snugg Nexus 7 Case.  Although it took me a few minutes to figure out how to secure it so it stands (the case involved no directions), I find that it is nice and secure. It’s actually a really simple concept involving the tab on the back (as shown in the image above). I simply made the mistake of assuming that The Snugg Nexus 7 case was built like the Amazon case I had been using previously.

It is so much better.

The Snugg Nexus 7 Case Requests

There are some issues that I had with the case, although they are very small in comparison and mostly superficial. For one, the stylus tab does not tuck “behind” the Nexus, as described. You can tuck it above and around the nexus so it closes nicely, but you cannot “hide” it from view. Also I feel that it gets in the way of the power port. I think it would be better fit to be on the opposite side, near the camera and it would be nice to be able to tuck it away and hide it, as mentioned.

I also wish that there were more colors available. A few months ago when I was originally asked to review The Snugg case, it was only available in Black. It has since opened up to a few more colors. But still, I would love if it were available in more colors – preferably Purple (both normal and light), and a dark magenta pink (as is the Amazon case I have), as a turquoise/aqua blue. Aqua blue is my absolute favorite color and I have yet to find a good case that utilizes this beautiful color. Maybe even modern patterns to truly individualize the experience!

My last request is for a case that involves a quality keyboard for under $50. (Is that possible?) Sometimes when I am out and about, or even at home, and cannot get to my computer (I no longer own a laptop as it was stolen), I would love to set my Nexus 7 on my lap and type away. I loathe typing via the screen so I would love a keyboard. Even a bluetooth option from The Snugg would be wonderful, although I did not see any such accessory listed.

Purchase

You can purchase The Snugg case directly from their website. Right now the case is $10 off and is currently $29.99! Well worth the price, if you ask me.

 

Friday Firsts: The Girl with No Name by Marina Chapman

What is Friday Firsts?

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.

  • Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
  • Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph. (If you want to use 2-3 sentences, that is okay but limit it to the very beginning.)
  • Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)
  • Did this first sentence help draw you into the story? Why or why not?
  • Come back to this blog post, hosted on WellReadReviews.com and let me know where to find your Friday Firsts!

That’s it

Here is my Friday Firsts:

The Girl with No Name by Marina Chapman 

“Stop the car, John. I want to get out!”  Hearing my mother’s words, my father glanced in the rear-view mirror and skidded to a halt without saying a word.

When I attended Florida Gulf Coast University for my bachelors in education, there was a time during our child development courses that we learned about feral children. I had known all about feral animals, but children? It was new to me, though incredibly interesting (and depressing.)

Feral children are children who are deprived of normal human interactions in their formative years. Some learn to survive on their own, but the majority survive with the help of other animals such as wolves (Romulus and Remes), dogs, chickens, and in this example — monkeys.

The Girl with No Name is a controversial novel written by and about the feral child raised by monkeys, Marina Chapman. The story is so incredibly unbelievable that there are many that question her honesty about her upbringing. Many people feel that many details were possibly embellished to sound more bizarre, for a good story.

None the less — sometimes I think that many people call to question something they just do not understand. It’s easy to dismiss something that they have never, nor have heard of anyone, ever experienced. Because of my fascination (thanks to FGCU) on child development and feral children, I am incredibly excited to pick up this book — embellished or not.

The Girl with No Name Book Summary:

The poignant story of a girl who overcomes unique hardship and deprivation – growing up with a troop of capuchin monkeys – to find ultimate redemption.

In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived is a miracle. Two days later, half-drugged, terrified, and starving, she came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. Acting entirely on instinct, she tried to do what they did: she ate what they ate and copied their actions, and little by little, learned to fend for herself.

So begins the story of her five years among the monkeys, during which time she gradually became feral; she lost the ability to speak, lost all inhibition, lost any real sense of being human, replacing the structure of human society with the social mores of her new simian family. But society was eventually to reclaim her. At age ten she was discovered by a pair of hunters who took her to the lawless Colombian city of Cucuta where, in exchange for a parrot, they sold her to a brothel. When she learned that she was to be groomed for prostitution, she made her plans to escape. But her adventure wasn’t over yet…

In the vein of “Slumdog Millionaire” and “City of God,” this rousing story of a lost child who overcomes the dangers of the wild and the brutality of the streets to finally reclaim her life will astonish readers everywhere.

Thank you for checking out my Friday Firsts.

Where to Get LED Grow Lights From

Where to Get LED Grow Lights From

Grow lights are very important when it comes to hydroponics. The best led grow lights for your hydronponics set up will most likely be the best led grow lights you can get from the eternal grow shop which also features advanced led grow lights.

Hydroponics is basically growing plants without soil, but still using water and nutrients or whatever ends up being chosen. There are tons of helpful nutrients that you can add to your plants that will be able to help you grow more efficiently and safely. Some of the nutrients that are available include tons of different hybrid mixes and whatnot that were formulated to help with the growth and health of your plants. Some mixes are only a dollar each, which means it’s very easy to keep your plants growing and happy! Some would recommend the “Organic Feeder” which would mix nicely with most plants, no matter what you are growing.

Eternal Shop Hydronics has been BBB accredited since 2011 and is thrilled to keep serving its thriving customer base. Specializing in garden and plant life, Eternal Shop Hydronics will surely help you create a garden that is easy to maintain and serves you well.

Tons of indoor gardening supplies are available as well as quality grow tents and lights that will help any aspiring indoor gardener to get started. From organic to aeroponic and many other types of indoor gardening, you can be sure to find everything you need from Eternal Shop. Hydroponics isn’t hard at all and anyone who is curious should read a little bit more on it and see just how easy it is! After you have all the supplies set up, it’s really only a matter of maintaining. There is a lot to learn about hydroponics, but just keep in mind that after the initial week or so, it is smooths sailing from there.

This was a sponsored post, written and paid for by the company. Please visit their website for more information. 

Booking Through Thursday: The First 50

 

Good morning and happy Thursday! I cannot believe how fast time has sped up in a blink of an eye. Yesterday my firstborn had her first trip to the dentist! We have to drive about half an hour to get to her dentist but she loved it. It was definitely made for children. There were games to play in the waiting room on a touch screen, wonderful sea-life decor, and the entire staff was very patient and engaging with the patients.

Katelyn (2) was sad that she was unable to go next. “It’s my turn!” I heard only close to a million times in that visit.  Because Katelyn has a heart murmur, she has to get an “OK” from her pediatrician before seeing a dentist. I am not really sure why?  I imagine this would be important when doing dental procedures, but for a checkup?

Speaking of firsts, the blog owner of Booking Through Thursday‘s brother-in-law is turning 50. (My highschool class of 2001 are all turning 30 this year..). I think any new decade deserves celebration and it sounds like maybe this brother-in-law may be the first to turn 50?

Booking Through Thursday

My brother-in-law turns 50 this weekend. So, in his honor, please pick up your nearest book or whatever book you’re currently reading, and turn to page 50 and then share the first 50 words with the rest of us.
(Do feel free to round this off, to stop and start with complete sentences, though.)

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

Wouldn’t that call into question all the work we had done together? I thought of the first chapters of my dissertation, sitting in piles of neatly edited typescript on my desk at home, and shuddered. If I didn’t believe Rossi’s story, could we go on working together? Would I have to assume he was mad?

 

It’s MONDAY! What are YOU Doing? #Books

Sheila is hosting a meme for Mondays where you list the books you have recently completed this week, books you are currently reading, and books you hope to read this week. This is one of my favorite memes (and favorite bloggers) so make sure you check it out and participate, if you can!

The books I have completed in the past week:

  • None

Books I am currently reading:

  • The Certified Herbalist Course  - I am learning about the bladder, now. Much more detailed than I had originally thought. We are not just learning about the herbs, but how the body works. Quite important to know exactly how the body works, rather than just the kind of herbs benefit which area. Love this book!

Shelved

  • None

Reviewed

None

In The Mailbox (on the way)

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (Publisher ARC) (LOVE Quirk Books!)

I actually have this book already, in hardback. It is one of the most appealing physical books to look at. Creepy images and the smooth texture of the pages. Eric from Quirk Books emailed me and let me know that it is now coming out in paperback. I cannot wait to compare the two. Thank you, Eric!

What’s on TV

Been watching A Hundred Year’s Inheritance for the past few weeks. When I started watching it on Hulu, I thought the series was finished. It is actually still airing so now I have to wait patiently every week for two more episodes. It’s coming to an ending soon, though.  Like most Korean dramas, the wait is excruciating.

This particular drama is about the most crazy mother and sister-in-law one could ever hope for. Chaewon (the main protagonist) is often beat by her Momma’s boy husband and emotionally and physically abused by high-profile mother-in-law. When Chaewon finally gathered the courage to file for divorce (something that isn’t as common/accepted as it is in the United States), it is only the beginning of all the crazy things her inlaws try to do to make her life absolutely miserable.

On the other hand, Chaewon’s immediate family is going through their own issues with the noodle factory. Who will run it after Grandpa has passed? This drama really is dramatic! Love it.

 

While I was waiting for A Hundred Year’s Inheritance, I started up Little Mom Scandal. One of the main girls (with the boy cut on this image) is Hwang Jung Eum, who I recognized from Can You Hear My Heart (which I love love loved). This show was a bit shocking for Korea. It dealt with sex (gasp), teen pregnancy, prostitution/escorting, marital affairs, dating a much older man, etc.

This may sound like a normal TV show in America, but Korea standards — It’s like something you’d find on Showtime. It was short and cute, though.

We’ve also been catching up on Weeds and watched Arrested Development in its entirety.  I cannot believe it has taken me so long to jump on the Arrested Development bandwagon, but I am sure glad I did. I can not WAIT until the new season comes out. YAY for coming back!

As for being on Season 7 of Weeds.. Oh I have come to greatly dislike Nancy. I don’t know why, but I completely justified her actions through out the show. But now that I am watching the season which she is released from Prison, I just.. she makes me so mad. Why can’t she get away from the pot even after putting her family through so much?

God, Nancy. Grow up.

Anyway — what are you up to this week? What are you doing/watching/reading?

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly bookish meme hosted at BTT2.Wordpress.com (circa 2005). Feel free to participate! If you don’t have your own blog, I would love to hear your responses via comments below.

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question:

What’s the last book that made you spring to your feet, eager to spread the word and tell everyone how much you enjoyed it?

The Cover

This is an awkward question for me since it has been so long since I’ve gone explosive over a book. I know that I have recommended The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova to quite a few people including my Mother-in-Law. Even though it it taking me months to read it, it is still pretty amazing.

The last book that I found so intriguing and read quickly was Want by Stephanie Lawton.  I’ve had such a book slump lately that I welcome any suggestions you have. What was the last book that you could not put down that you had to just tell every single person you know about it?

 

Ever Find Yourself Doing 20 Thousand Things at Once

Yup, like Mr. Lego Man, here — I am juggling a thousand things at once. I am not always good at juggling a thousand projects. I find that it is one that occupies a majority of my time, while others get pushed aside.

Anyone who knows how to juggle 20 thousand things at once, please teach me. 

Some of the things that have occupied me the last few months (other than the obvious holidays of St. Patrick’s Day and Easter) involve:

Aster & Lilly

Starting my own natural products store, specializing in herbal supplements and essential oils. You can view my website at Aster & Lilly , but you won’t find anything interesting (yet). It’s not live. I’ll keep you posted when it does go live. It will include a variety of homemade items from various venders (including myself) — all natural. Plus, I will be blogging a lot on living naturally. I am really excited about this project! It is something that I feel really passionate about.

Tenants From HELL

We have had a family living in a previous home of ours since June of 2012 until it was sold (in March) and they have been the tenants from HELL. I had no idea that a family could be so difficult. The sad thing about this situation is that this woman is in my social circle (which, by the way, is a bad idea. Don’t even think of renting a property to someone you know, even mutually.)

This woman (who shall not be named) has a compulsive lying problem (and a record to prove it, if you know what I mean.) She was frequently bad mouthing me to mutual friends, making me seem as if I was taking advantage of her. Of course she neglected to mention that she was renting our property for $600 a month with a few months completely free; nor showing her what we had mutually agreed on in terms of expectations as per the lease. This was a nice 1,200sq foot single house with two car garage, laminate floors, a porch, and fenced in backyard. It was a nice house for a great deal and she treated it like it was a scum of the Earth house.

Every month there was some new drama in her life that required her to ask (every single month) for a rent decrease or stating that she is disappointed and wanted to move out. Husband got a promotion that gave them insurance, yet took more money out of their check. Then he was arrested for drunk driving. Then, he was cheating on her. Then an aunt was dying. There was always something. It was a headache to keep up with. I told her multiple times to leave if she was not happy, but I guess she realized that there was no way she could get anything remotely like it.

More than once we worked with them with whatever financial crisis they may have had but it go to the point, after many months of this — I had enough. I felt emotionally drained. When I found out she was badmouthing me to friends, I felt like my entire body had been trampled on. She was LYING to our friends, and she’s pretty good at it. (I am more than positive she has some sort of personality disorder that involves attention seeking, because she was (and probably always will) constantly pulling the victim card.

We had a signed lease that we throughly negotiated together. Just follow it. It’s not hard. That is what it is for. Stop playing the victim and be responsible for your life and stop taking advantage of others. Had she not constantly complained over asinine issues like a closet door not working, or a light going out — we would have been happy to help. (It was in our lease, per our mutual agreement, that they would be responsible for maintaining the home.) So, for the past few weeks I have been dealing with her, which involved standing up to my friends and telling them the truth of the matter. It was a very difficult situation to deal with and like I mentioned before — I feel completely and utterly emotionally drained.

The fortunate thing is that I have learned a lot from this experience. The main thing, it brought me closer to a friend, who I realized and respected for standing up along side me. I also realized that there are just some people who I cannot talk sense to and they will think the way they do and behave the way they do regardless of being confronted. I need to just accept the things that I cannot change. And there are many, many,  people who have no problem standing up for something popular in the public eye, but will avoid getting involved and standing up for issues in their own backyard.

I am glad to have that family out of my life. It is the end of one of the most stressful times of my entire life. Whew. 

Homeschool Group

The girls are in a homeschool group for kids of Central FL. We all gathered at my house and planted seeds. They really enjoyed digging around in the dirt and watering their seeds.

Carli, Katelyn, and I planted some bush beans and eggplant. We had plenty of bush beans sprout but not a single eggplant. Not sure if eggplants are just difficult to sprout or I somehow did it wrong — I don’t know.

Transfered the bush bean seedlings to my raised garden bed from last year (and a few misc little places) and we shall soon see if they do well. So far over the past week they have been slow growing. Not entirely sure why. They may need a boost of something and I know I need to spray for pests (gotta protect the seedling babies!)

The group consisted of children of all ages, including pre-talkers. I feel it is great to expose kids to learning, even if they can’t fully comprehend it. They are still learning. I also find that having older kids is amazing because they can help the younger kids, which in itself, helps them to understand what they are learning even better.

Everything Else

I am still reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, along with studying an herbalist course book. I started The Historian mid-February. Two months to read a single book? Ridiculous. But it’s really good.. so that makes the situation all the more ridiculous.

I have also been watching some great shows including Point Blank (a Canadian show that is no longer on, sadly.) It is so amazing and I am sad that it was only a couple seasons long. Maybe they will pull an “Arrested Development” and come back. Netflix? Hulu? Any takers?

Korean drama wise, I’m watching A Hundred Years Inheritance (which is still airing in Korea). Normally I select shows that have aired and finished, but it wasn’t until I was many episodes in when I realized that it is not finished. It airs twice a week, I believe so it should be showing up on Hulu sometime this afternoon, I think.

So, anyway — had and HAVE a ton going on. Will do what I can to make it work. What kind of projects are occupying your time?? Do you ever feel that life gets in the way of your books?

photos by: Helico & Helico

Wordless Wednesday: The Big City Carnival

Certified Herbalist Course by Onnalee Elizabeth Groat Book Teaser | Teaser Tuesday

 

What is Teaser Tuesday?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page * BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Certified Herbalist Course by Onnalee Elizabeth Groat Book Summary

Certified Herbalist Course – This “Basic Life” student course handbook will help you and your family on the path to obtain better health. You will learn about herbs and their actions in your body, fat soluble and water soluble vitamins, amino acids, and parasites. We will discuss how to keep the digestive, intestinal, immune, glandular, respiratory, skeletal, and circulatory systems healthy. Allergies, menopause, PMS, degenerative diseases, candida, weight loss, and Chinese herbs, are some of the many things that will be discussed. This book includes a comprehensive test. If you choose to take the test, you will receive a certificate of completion in herbalism. With a passing grade of 85% or higher, the certificate will be sent to you by postal mail. Information in the book will instruct you how to do this.

Certified Herbalist Course Book Teaser:

That cold you just got may actually be a healing crisis. The medical community has, for years, been trying to cure the “common cold”. It will never happen because the cold is the cure!

Have been reading The Certified Herbalist Course student handbook for a few weeks, now. I can’t even begin to explain how much I have learned and I still only about 33% into the course. I cannot wait to see what else there is in store in the upcoming chapters.

On another note, would you believe me if I said I still reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova? Well, I am. It is slow going but still incredibly interesting. The only negative thing is that I feel that reading the same book for so long has slowed down my blogging. When I would normally go to write a book review, it’s like.. nope. Can’t. Still reading it.

Ah, well.

 

 

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Book Teaser | Teaser Tuesday

 

What is Teaser Tuesday?

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page * BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova Book Summary

“TO YOU, PERCEPTIVE READER, I BEQUEATH MY HISTORY…”

Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters. The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor,” and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever known – and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out. It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula. Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself – to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a vibrant young scholar and her mother was still alive.

What does the legend of Vlad the Impaler have to do with the modern world? Is it possible that the Dracula of myth truly existed – and that he has lived on, century after century, pursuing his own unknowable ends? The answer to these questions cross time and borders, as first the father and then the daughter search for clues, from dusty Ivy League libraries to Istanbul, Budapest, and the depths of Eastern Europe. In city after city, in monasteries and archives, in letters and in secret conversations, the horrible truth emerges about Vlad the Impaler’s dark reign – and about a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive down through the ages.

Parsing obsure signs and hidden texts, reading codes worked into the fabric of medieval monastic traditions – and evading the unknown adversaries who will go to any lengths to conceal and protect Vlad’s ancient powers – one woman comes ever closer to the secret of her own past and a confrontation with the very definition of evil.

The Historian Book Teaser:

That night, in Istanbul, I took the full measure of a sleepless night. For one thing, the horror of that moment when I first saw a dead face alive and tried to comprehend what I had seen — that moment alone would have kept me awake.

Yup, Yup. I am still reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova . It is honestly quite amazing, however it is taking me so long to read it! So so long.

Have you read The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, yet?

 

New Releases of Books: Week of 2/18 – 2/24

Look what new releases of books come out this week!

Here is a small list of what new releases of books in the YA genre come out this week. There are more than this that come out, but this is just what looks rather interesting to me and/OR I think those that usually frequent my blog may like them, too.

February 18th 2013

 

Title: Crash and Burn
Author: Michael Hassan
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages:  544
ISBN: 978-0062112903
 

Crash and Burn Book Summary

On April 21, 2008, Steven “Crash” Crashinsky saved more than a thousand people when he stopped his classmate David Burnett from taking their high school hostage armed with assault weapons and high-powered explosives. You likely already know what came after for Crash: the nationwide notoriety, the college recruitment, and, of course, the book deal. What you might not know is what came before: a story of two teens whose lives have been inextricably linked since grade school, who were destined, some say, to meet that day in the teachers’ lounge of Meadows High. And what you definitely don’t know are the words that Burn whispered to Crash right as the siege was ending, a secret that Crash has never revealed.

Until now.

Michael Hassan’s shattering novel is a tale of first love and first hate, the story of two high school seniors and the morning that changed their lives forever. It’s a portrait of the modern American teenage male, in all his brash, disillusioned, oversexed, schizophrenic, drunk, nihilistic, hopeful, ADHD-diagnosed glory. And it’s a powerful meditation on how normal it is to be screwed up, and how screwed up it is to be normal.

 

Title: Mind Games
Author: Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-0062135315

Mind Games Book Summary

Two sisters, bound by impossible choices, are determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

James’s frozen face melts into a smile. “Do you want to know the trick to getting in trouble under the watchful eye of a psychic?”

I think of the nailed-shut windows. I think of Clarice. I think of the two, the two, the two who are now zero. Tap tap. “Yes, I absolutely do.”

“Don’t plan it. Don’t even think about it. The second you get an inkling of what you could do, do it then. Never plan anything ahead of time. Always go on pure instinct.”

I smile. “I think I can do that.”

Mind Games Book Trailer

 

Title: The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door
Author: Karen Finneyfrock
Publisher: Walker Childrens
Pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0802723109

The Sweet Revenge of Celia Door Book Summary

That’s the day the trouble started.
The trouble that nearly ruined my life.
The trouble that turned me Dark.
The trouble that begs me for revenge.

Celia Door enters her freshman year of high school with giant boots, dark eyeliner, and a thirst for revenge against Sandy Firestone, the girl who did something unspeakable to Celia last year.

But then Celia meets Drake, the cool new kid from New York City who entrusts her with his deepest, darkest secret. When Celia’s quest for justice threatens her relationship with Drake, she’s forced to decide which is sweeter: revenge or friendship.

This debut novel from Karen Finneyfrock establishes her as a bright, bold, razor-sharp new voice for teens, perfect for fans of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Will Grayson, Will Grayson.

 

Title: The Different Girl
Author: Gordon Dahlquist
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 240
ISBN: 978-0525425977

The Different Girl Book Summary

Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.

Sly and unsettling, Gordon Dahlquist’s timeless and evocative storytelling blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi with a story that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the final page has been turned.

 

Title: The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand
Author: Gregory Galloway
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Pages: 272
ISBN: 978-0525425656

The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand Book Summary

Adam Strand isn’t depressed. He’s just bored. Disaffected. So he kills himself—39 times. No matter the method, Adam can’t seem to stay dead; he awakes after each suicide alive and physically unharmed, more determined to succeed and undeterred by others’ concerns. But when his self-contained, self-absorbed path is diverted, Adam is struck by the reality that life is an ever-expanding web of impact and forged connections, and that nothing—not even death—can sever those bonds.

 

 

Title: How to Lead a Life of Crime
Author: Kirsten Miller
Publisher: RazorBill
Pages: 358
ISBN: 978-1595145185

How to Lead a Life of Crime Book Summary

A Meth Dealer. A Prostitute. A Serial Killer.

Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called
prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young
criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to
graduate. The rest disappear.

Flick, a teenage pickpocket, has risen to the top of his class. But then Mandel
recruits a fierce new competitor who also happens to be Flick’s old flame.
They’ve been told only one of them will make it out of the Mandel Academy. Will
they find a way to save each other—or will the school destroy them both?

If you could only choose one book, which one would you choose and why?

Friday Firsts: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

What is Friday Firsts?

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.

  • Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
  • Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph. (If you want to use 2-3 sentences, that is okay but limit it to the very beginning.)
  • Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)
  • Did this first sentence help draw you into the story? Why or why not?
  • Come back to this blog post, hosted on WellReadReviews.com and let me know where to find your Friday Firsts!

That’s it

Here is my Friday Firsts:

Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte 

All true histories contain instruction; though, in some, the treasure may be hard to find, and when found, so trivial in quantity, that the dry, shriveled kernel scarcely compensates for the trouble of cracking the nut.

I absolutely adore the first sentence of Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte. Such a beautiful start, this first sentence is worthy of being quoted. To me, that is always the sign of a true writer; when you want to take their words and repeat them. Although I am still reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, I cannot wait to start this classic, Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte.

Agnes Grey Book Summary:

Anne Bronte was a 19th century British novelist and poet. She and her sisters Charlotte and Emily were the best-known women writers of the 19th century. At age 19 she left home and worked as a governess for a few years before becoming a writer. Agnes Grey was an 1847 novel based on her experience as a governess. Bronte depicts the precarious position of a governess and how that can affect a young woman. Agnes was the daughter of a minister whose family was in financial difficulty. She has only a few choices for employment. Agnes experiences the difficulty of reining in spoiled children and how wealth can corrupt morals.

Thank you for checking out my Friday Firsts.

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