Book Reviews by Well Read Reviews

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 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: ★★★½☆

Booking Through Thursday

book reviewsBooking 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

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?

 

The Sunday Salon: When to Blog?

10/18/09
04/17/11

This is The Sunday Salon meme; dedicated to chatting about your literary ventures of the week.

When to blog?

When to Blog?

This week I want to talk a little bit about when to blog. I have been getting myself more organized this week (blog-wise) and the thought has popped into my head many, many, many times.

Being a stay at home Mom means my kids come first. Always. Though its more like they demand it and usually in the most obnoxious way possible. (But they ARE 4 and 2 so I guess it comes with the territory.) Sometimes I will stumble upon a blog of someone who has many children and I think, “How do they DO this?!” Do they have some sort of secret?

I also tend to blog the best mid-morning (after coffee as that is very important.) My focus is much more clear as the day is so new and parenting two young ones haven’t yet taken its toll for the day. Every night when they are in bed at around 8pm-8:30 I always think what a wonderful time it WOULD be to blog but by then my mind is close to shutting off and I just want to lay in bed next to my husband and read a good book.

When do YOU Blog?

I would love for you to answer the following questions:

When do you find that you do your most blogging? Do you have a set schedule? Do you blog better at a certain time of the day? How do you manage your blogging with other obligations (i.e. work, friends, family, etc.

When to blog? I love comments.

Put ‘em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook by: Sherri Brooks Vinton | A Book Review

Canning and Preserving Fruit

Does Canning & Preserving Fruit Interest You?

When I started my gardening last spring (something I never thought I would ever be into) I started to feel an intense love for everything that I produced. When I didn’t pick in time and the produce went bad (i.e. my cucumbers who succumbed to a pickleworm infestation) I felt like all my hard work was just.. wasted. I keep thinking, if only I had picked them in time, maybe the pickleworms would not have found (and killed) my cucumber plant.

But, back then I had no idea what to do with the multiple huge cucumbers that I had on a vine. I had picked a few earlier on but they went bad before I could get around to eating them. Again, wasted food.

What I should have done then, but had no knowledge of, is the various fruit recipes and a way to preserve fruit. I had no idea about how and I needed canning help.

Then I stumbled upon this book, Put ‘Em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook by Sherri Brooks.

Could this be the answer to my gardening woes this upcoming spring and summer harvest?

Put ‘Em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook Summary

A preserving guide and cookbook all in one! This creative collection has 80 inventive recipes for preserving all kinds of fruit, from apples, berries, and cherries to lemons, quince, and tomatoes, but it also has 80 recipes for using those preserves (or ones you buy at the store) in main dishes, side dishes, desserts, and cocktails.

Make Quick Peach Jam and then use it to make mouthwatering Sweet and Sour Chicken, or make Grapefruit and Sultana Conserve and use it in Sauteed Greens with Grapefruit Dressing.

The flavors are fresh and contemporary, and the instructions are thorough and easy to follow. Putting up the harvest has never been so delicious!

Preserving Fruit

My Book Review of Put ‘Em Up Fruit: A Preserving Guide & Cookbook

Put ‘Em Up Fruit consisted of 80 ways to not only preserve fruit, but how to use the preserved jellies, jams, and marmalades.  This cookbook and preserving guide was much more than I had anticipated. I didn’t expect to find recipes for salad dressings, marinades, and desserts.

I had only expected to, maybe, learn a few methods of preserving food at home. What I got with Put ‘Em Up Fruit was much more than I ever could have expected.

The book is separated into two different sections.

Part One – Getting Started

Part one consists of a very thorough guide on how to use the book. We learn how to spot good fruits for preserving, the various definitions, how to follow the directions (because admit it, you’re not very good at doing that), preserving pointers, and some troubleshooting methods when our sweet preserves go sour.

The definitions really helped me as I honestly had no idea the difference between jelly, jam, and preserves. Sherri Brooks Vinton explains in great detail:

  • Chutney
  • Compote
  • Conserve
  • Curd
  • Fruit Cheese
  • Gastrique
  • Infusion
  • Jam
  • Jelly
  • Ketchup
  • Leather
  • Liqueur
  • Marmalade
  • Pickle
  • Preserve
  • Puree
  • Relish
  • Salsa
  • Vinegar

And yes, you can pretty much expect to learn how to make all of these in part 2 of Put ‘Em Up! Fruit.

Part Two –  Recipes

This is the super exciting part. Author Sherri Brooks Vinton gives us recipes for using everything from apples, blueberries, strawberries (and the usual) to preserving with grapefruit, quince, rhubarb, tomatoes and everything in between. Part two is separated by fruit so you can skip forward to whatever type of fruit you enjoy and go from there.

When reading this book, I thought a lot of my daughter Kate and her food intolerances. I paid special attention to her safe foods which included apples, cherries, peaches and pears. Because I was already familiar with how to make applesauce, I really enjoyed learning how to turn my applesauce into applebutter. 

Other recipes in the apple section included learning how to make apple cider (and apple cider vinegar!) The apple cider vinegar was something I was especially excited to learn how to do as apple cider vinegar has such amazing health and home benefits. The recipe states that you should expect to get 1 quart of cider for every 4 pounds of apples using the hot pressing method (as explained earlier in her book) or 8lbs of apples using the cold pressing method. 3 cups of the apple cider is expected to turn into 2 cups of apple cider vinegar.

Now, I know that the cost of 4lbs or organic apples turns out to be quite expensive for just under a quart of apple cider vinegar. You may be able to try and convince yourself that you can easily go and get a gallon of store brand apple cider vinegar for much less, but believe me, you get what you pay for. A natural homemade unprocessed PURE apple cider vinegar is probably one of the best things you can have in your home, year round. It is worth the price of 4lbs-8lbs of apples for a quart. Plus, where is the self satisfaction in just going to the store and purchasing it?

Now, I don’t want to go into further details about the various recipes, but I assure you — this is a must have book for anyone who is interested in living a more natural, self-sufficient life or simply if you love to cook! Your efforts will surely go noticed.

Rating: ★★★★★

Weekly Releases in Books: 12/10 to 12/16



Young Adult Book Releases: December 10th to December 16th

  • Love and Other Perishable Things - Laura Buzo (Author)
  • Falling Kingdoms - Morgan Rhodes (Author)
  • Princess of the Silver Woods – Jessica Day George (Author)
  • Enders – Lissa Price (Author)  (Check out my review on Starters by Lissa Price)

 

Dwarf: A Memoir by Tiffanie DiDonato | A Book Review

Title: Dwarf
Author: Tiffanie DiDonato
Publish Date: November 27th, 2012
Publisher: Plume
ISBN: 978-0452298118
Pages: 272
Rating: ★★★☆☆
 

Dwarf Book Summary

It’s okay with me if you picked up this book because you’re curious about what it’s like to live with dwarfism. But I hope that you’ll take away much more—about adapting to the world when it won’t adapt to you.”—from Dwarf

A memoir of grit and transformation for anyone who has been told something was impossible and then went on to do it anyway.

Tiffanie DiDonato was born with dwarfism. Her limbs were so short that she was not able to reach her own ears. She was also born with a serious case of optimism. She decided to undergo a series of painful surgeries that gave her an unprecedented 14 inches of height—and the independence she never thought she’d have.

After her surgeries, Tiffanie was able to learn to drive, to live in the dorms during college, and to lead a normal life. She even made time to volunteer, writing to troops stationed abroad, and one of those Marine pen pals ultimately became her husband.

Dwarf is a moving and at times funny testament to the power of sheer determination.

My Dwarf: A Memoir Book Review

When I first saw Dwarf: A Memoir by Tiffanie DiDonato, I had to read it. I really wanted to know about the struggles of someone who was, well,  little. Not only am I just naturally curious, but my little one has her own height struggles as well. When watching anything on Dwarfism, it always paints those affected with this condition to be happy and go-lucky and at peace with their bodies. In fact, many have said that they wouldn’t have it any other way.

But, is that the truth?

Tiffanie DiDonato was born with a rare form of Dwarfism called Diastrophic Dysplasia. It means she had a normal size head and torso, except her limbs were exceptionally short. This is a genetic disorder of the cartilage and bone development.

When Tiffanie was born, her parents had no idea that she would be born with diastrophic dysplasia. Her birth would be an event that would tear her family apart, at least for a little while. Her father was unable to cope with the idea that his daughter had special needs and he bolted.

The thing is, Tiffanie seems so nonchalant about her father leaving because she had dwarfism. I know it’s not an event she would remember, but she knows. Doesn’t it make her the least bit upset, just knowing this bit of information? I know that if I had learned that my father had left me (and my mother) at birth because I had somehow unintentionally disappointed him by being the way I was, there is no amount of making up for it to dilute my sense of anger in recalling that time in my life; at least, for my Mother.

It was like, “Oh, yeah. Dad didn’t like the fact I was born with dwarfism so he bolted. No worries because he came back and all was well — mostly.” (I am over-exaggerating.) I just. I guess I don’t get that. I know as parents we all do things that we are ashamed of, but leaving your child is a pretty big deal and nothing that should be passed off in such a way that its made to seem like it happens all the time. Or does it?

Another thing that kind of removed me from the book (although an easy read) was that I find it hard to believe that someone would remember such detail of their life at 2, 3, 4, etc. When she was recalling an experience when she was a toddler, riding her tricycle in the grocery store – she wrote it with such clarity it was as if she made it up. Do you remember conversation(s) in detail when you were little? I don’t, and I have a pretty good memory of my own life. She recalls conversations with her mother at such an early age, but I could only imagine that was something her Mother, in fact, told her — and it really painted her Mother into being this sort of overly angelic, all too cheesy, overly self-sacrificing person. Did her Mother do no wrong? Feel no sadness or anger about anything? I just didn’t know and that bothered me.

I think, what would have made a bigger impression on me, was her parents writing the beginning of her book. Like an introduction, you know? It would make sense for her parents to have vivid memories of things that have happened that that age, but doesn’t make much since for her to write it as if she remembers it so clearly.

Plus, there are so many questions that I have about her parents. Why exactly did her Mom join the Air Force, leaving Tiffanie and her ex-husband behind? (At the time, they were ‘together’ but did not remarry.) Plus, how on Earth did she get out of the Air Force early without completing her required time? Also, didn’t it anger her that her Father chose to stay with his other son from his first wife, rather then be together with the woman he was supposedly in love with (still), and his daughter? Wouldn’t that cause insecurities?

I am just confused.

I got confused a lot, honestly. This is why I think co-writing with her parents would have added more clarity to so many questions that I now have. It would have added a family dynamic to the story, and I think it would have been easier to see more personality within the memoir. I felt the writing to be rather simplistic, although interesting, and at many times — cheesy.

It’s not to say that it’s not a moving book. It kept my interest and I enjoyed learning about what went on in her head. Unfortunately my digital advanced reader’s copy expired prior to me finishing the book. So, I only got about 70 pages in. It wasn’t enough to get into her adulthood, so I feel like I am missing a huge chunk. Do all my questions get answered? I don’t know. I hope!

So while this isn’t a book that I would buy, simply based on the simplistic writing and awkward dialogue and pacing, it is definitely a book that I would borrow at the library so I could finish reading about her life because I do find her rather fascinating.

 

Coupon Deal: $5.00 off one MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRE Game

I love, love, love Monopoly. I thought this was a good deal for the upcoming holidays so I had to share. :)

$5.00 off one MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRE Game

MONOPOLY MILLIONAIRE coupon
Toys and Games

Exp: 2012-12-31

Happy Thanksgiving from Well-Read Reviews

Hope your holiday is shared with good food and a lot of love.

Thank you for visiting.

Weekly Releases in Books: 8/28 – 9/03



August 28th – September 3rd 2012

  • The Dark Light - Sara Walsh (Author)
  • Foretold: 14 Tales of Prophecy and Prediction – Carrie Ryan (Editor)
  • Every Day – David Levithan (Author)
  • The Dragons of Winter – James A. Owen (Author)

  • If I Lie – Corrine Jackson (Author)
  • Don’t Turn Around – Michelle Gagnon (Author)
  • The Blood Keeper – Tessa Gratton (Author)
  • The Stone Girl - Alyssa B. Sheinmel (Author)

  • UnWholly - Neal Shusterman (Author)
  • Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron - Jonathan Strahan (Author)
  • Embers & Echoes – Karsten Knight
  • Erasing Time – C.J. Hill

  • The Demon Catchers of Milan – Kat Beyer
  • Vanquished - Nancy Holder (Author), Debbie Viguié (Author)
  • The Lost Girl - Sangu Mandanna
  • Starling – Lesley Livingston

  • Defiance – C.J. Redwine
  • Lucid - Adrienne Stoltz (Author), Ron Bass (Author)
  • Fifteen Love - Nicole Leigh Shepherd
  • Dangerous Boy – Mandy Hubbard

  • Amber House – Kelly Moore (Author), Tucker Reed (Author), Larkin Reed (Author)
  • A Soldier’s Secret: The Incredible True Story of Sarah Edmonds, a Civil War Hero - Marissa Moss
  • The Dark Unwinding – Sharon Cameron
  • Undead – Kristy McKay

 

Weekly Releases in Books: 8/21 – 8/27



August 21st – August 27th 2012

  • The Raft - S.A. Bodeen (Author)
  • Such Wicked Intent – Kenneth Oppel (Author)
  • The Sweetest Spell – Suzanne Selfors (Author)
  • Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You – Joyce Carol Oates

  • The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore
  • Pizza Love and Other Stuff that Made Me Famous – Kathryn Williams
  • Heaven – Alexandra Adornetto
  • Life Happens Next – Terry Trueman

  • Over You – Emma McLaughlin
  • Smashed – Lisa Luedeke

Morning Musings: This Bookworm Loves School — Duh.

I love school.

Always have.

Always will.

I have always said that if I won the lottery and had the means to do so, I would become a professional student. I would hold multiple PhDs in various topics. Knowledge interests me. I have been told that sometimes I tend to act like a know-it-all (have to admit this) so, heck, I might as well make it true! ;) (I kid. But yes, those comments do bother me.)

The other day the hubs mentioned me going back to school and finishing my masters in something. I had briefly attended UCF and did one semester of graduate courses (which I scored straight A’s thankyouverymuch.) But graduate school is e.x.p.e.n.s.i.v.e. And me? I have no money and refuse to take out loans.

I also believe heavily in teaching my children as well because in many ways I feel public school has failed children in America. So how on EARTH am I going to manage everything?

On a positive note — I know many Mothers do this so I know it is not impossible. It’s definitely doable. I just need a course of action. (Feel free to jump in if you have any tips, experience, or support on the matter.)

Step One: Decide on Major

Got it. That is relatively easy.

  • Library Science and Information with a concentration in Youth Literature/Services.

Many book bloggers are librarians and it is no wonder — we love books. What is better than surrounding yourself with something that you LOVE? As a child I spent a lot of time in the library. If it weren’t for the need of a ride too and from, I probably would have stayed all the library all day if I was allowed to do so.

Now, as an adult (although I am learning this a bit late) I can turn that wish into a reality. I can mix my love for teaching and literature and get my Masters in Library Science and make books into a full time career.

Drool.

Step Two: Decide on Accredited University

This can be the difficult part. I know that whatever it is, will most likely have to be online as I have two young ones and there is not a lot of time I have available for someone to watch the girls. The nearest Universities to me are Steston and University of Central FL. As Library Science is a Master’s program, neither one of these Universities offer this particular degree.

Bummer.

Not only does it need to be an accredited University but it has to be one which the American Library Association recognizes for giving superb Library Science education. Florida State University has an online program for Library Science and Information, which I am currently eyeing. Other possibilities include  The University of Alberta, The University of Buffalo and others. It is also important, though, to note that it cannot be any particular school that requires that I travel to their campus, not even once.  Online means online.

Step 3: Study for and take the G.R.E. Exam.

I am so not looking forward to this. Unfortunately the G.R.E. seems pretty unavoidable and I think standardized testing is one of the most ridiculous things in the world. Pointless, too. Did I mention that I am BAD at taking tests? I think I had to take the CLAST 2 or 3 times. Yeah, it’s ridiculous. I also took the SAT twice and still cried at each result.

I hate standardized tests. I hate. I hate. I hate.

As a young child, I was tested quite often by my teachers for the Gifted program. The problem is, they would always tell me that I was about to take a test and even as a young child I got some sort of test performance anxiety. I double think each answer. If something seems to easy, I think that it probably is and select a different answer. After all, are the test makers trying to trick me?

I hate tests.

Step 4: Figure out how in the heck I am going to finance an estimated 20k education.

UGH. I haven’t worked full-time or with any consistency since 2008. (I have done some telecommuting temp jobs but nothing to rely on.) I do not believe the average child care is up to par with my expectations (plus it is incredibly expensive). I do not want to take out any student loans because I have heard horror story after horror story.

So that leaves scholarships, fellowships, grants, and work-study or tuition stipend. I signed up at FastWeb but have since been spammed out of my mind even though I have marked, “No” to wanting to hear from partners or like-companies. (Though, this may just be a coincidence.)

When I attended undergraduate school at Florida Gulf Coast University (as well as Valencia Community College my first year and during summers while home) I had the Florida Bright Scholarship. That thing was amazing and it is something that I will push my kids to earn (that is, if its still around when the time comes for my girls to attend college.)

The Florida Bright Scholarship paid 80% of my tuition (at least the one that I had.) In order to receive it you had to have a certain GPA and test scores. There was one tier above it that paid 100%. I kind of wish that I had aimed for that one. I believe during the course of my undergraduate, Florida Bright started changing its allowance and if I remember correctly, stopped paying for summer school. I remember it changing and not in a good way. Hopefully it has since gone back to normal because it definitely helps.

The sad (very sad) thing about Florida Bright is that it does not cover Graduate school. After I graduated from FGCU, I moved back home to get a start on my career. I started one semester at University of Central Florida to earn my masters in School Counseling and aced the two classes that I had taken. But that was about as much as me (well, my parents) could afford.

As much as I enjoyed being a graduate student, I stopped there. But, I really want to go back to school!

If you have attended graduate school while having two young kids and are unable to relocate — what did you do?

Step 5: Kick ass in school and earn straight A’s!

I have no excuse. I am an adult (I turn 30 in about half a year.) I love to sleep and I rarely ever party. My social life consists of conversing with a 2 and 4 year old all day, my family, and other local Mom-friends who all love sleep as much as I do.

I am older, wiser, and more experienced then I was at 18 or 22. Therefore, there is no reason that I cannot earn straight A’s and be completely awesome in graduate school. Then, I can graduate and start my career surrounded in books and helping others find the read their hearts desire.

*Happiness*

Oh man, I can’t wait to start my studies in Library Science. I can NOT be the only bookworm school-a-holic out there. Anyone else love learning as much as I do?

If you are like me and are interested in going back to school, especially with an online University, then check out this link and fill out your information completely. Your Degree has a ton of options and they are very helpful with helping to match up students to the right college for the career path they are interested in. It only takes a few minutes and doesn’t cost you anything to request more information.

And, you know, knowledge is power!

Kicking Off Armchair BEA with an Introduction

The infamous Book Expo America is happening this week!! Woot! Remember when I moaned and complained that it was too expensive to go? Well, a lot of people are in the same boat so we will be participating in BEA supported ArmchairBEA. Woot!

If you want to participate in ArmchairBEA, head over to the website and see what you can do!

I signed up to be a part of the commenting committee. That means that I am on the blue team and it is my sworn literary duty to make sure blogs  numbered 11-20, 131-140, 251-260, 371-380 in the Mr Linky* receive generous comment love. Whew, I know that is going to be a lot of work. But, if I can manage to make ONE person smile this week, then I’ll be happy. (But it sure would be nice to get comments back, cough.)

Alright, first things first –

My Introduction

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

Well, I have been on the internet doing websites since I was 12. I am 29 now, so do the math because it is early and I am really tired. Plus, I really suck at doing quick math.

Alright, I thought about it.. 17 years? Man that’s a long time. I think my first website was a fan website on Sandra Bullock and it was most likely on AOL or Geocities. (Yes, I am old!)

I have dappled in many websites over the years and have seen trends come and go. But with this blog, specifically, I started it in August of 2009. So, I am close to my 3 year bloggerversary. That is, by far, the longest I have ever worked on any single project. I think it is because it’s so personal and integrates my passion into it, reading. I am free to be nerdy and it is 100% acceptable. In fact, nerdiness is encouraged.

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

I am currently reading a few books. None of them are really keeping my attention 100%. I am reading City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare, A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin, and Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris. Even though they are enjoyable, I can’t seem to get into any single book. Therefore, this has put me into a bit of a reading rut.

So far the books that I have enjoyed most in 2012 has been The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I also really enjoyed January First by Michael Schofield and Divergent by Veronica Roth.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

I suffer from a panic disorder that manifests itself in OCD-like ways. (I wash my hands a lot.) I also have adult ADD and it makes it very hard to give things my full concentration. For example this one blog entry has taken me a few hours to write.

What is your favorite feature on your blog (i.e. author interviews, memes, something specific to your blog)?

I really do not have a favorite feature. I don’t do a lot of author interviews at all. It’s mainly because I only want unique questions and can’t focus long enough to think of them. And God forbid I ask normal questions! ;)

Where do you see your blog in five years?

I am hoping to God that social media is just beginning and not in any sort of descent. I would love to still be blogging. Carli will be 9 and Kate will be 7. Even though we will be homeschooling, they are at a great age to do independent work and do things for themselves. I will be able to put a LOT more time into my blogging when they don’t need such heavy focus and supervision.

Blogwise, I hope that I can practically support my family off my blog. YES, I said it! Though I’ll be happy if this blog awards me opportunities to meet well known authors in person and participate in amazing events!

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

Well, I have a few. The most recent one is one that I wrote on extended breastfeeding. It’s not book related so if that doesn’t interest you then be sure to check out my rant on why I thought that Kathrine Heigl was no Stephanie Plum. Traffic wise, it is probably one of my most popular entries. Plus, it’s true. One for the Money bombed in the box office. In fact, I still haven’t seen it yet!

If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?

Oh, I am torn. On the one hand dinner with Stephanie Plum would probably be quite the riot. On the other hand, I would love to get to know JK Rowling and see inside that genius mind of hers!

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Um… Hogwarts. DUH! I would assume this would be self-explanatory.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

I love that the book blogging community can get so personal. I have met some wonderful ladies blogging. I would like to see more opportunities for bloggers to together in person. There are so many all over the world that I am positive that in-person get togethers would be easy!

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

When I started blogging I was reading a lot of adult general fiction. The Time Traveler’s Wife, Midwives, etc. Once I started on twitter and seeing other bloggers and what they recommended, I found myself more into the young adult fiction. There have been more YA books that have impressed me than adult books!

(You can see introduction directions here.)



Weekly Releases in Books: 5/22 – 5/28



May 22nd 2012 – May 28th 2012

  • Unbreak My Heart [Hardcover] – Melissa Walker (Author)
  • Taken by Storm: A Raised by Wolves Novel [Hardcover] – Jennifer Lynn Barnes (Author)
  • The Murder Notebooks: Dead Time [Hardcover] – Anne Cassidy (Author)
  • The Enchantress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) [Deckle Edge] [Hardcover] - Michael Scott (Author)

  • Of Poseidon [Hardcover] – Anna Banks (Author)
  • 37 Things I Love (in no particular order) [Hardcover] – Kekla Magoon (Author)
  • Alice on Board [Hardcover] – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (Author)
  • Shift [Hardcover] – Em Bailey (Author)

  • The Lost Code: Book One of the Atlanteans [Hardcover] - Kevin Emerson (Author)

Morning Musings: PLEASE Help Me Find This Book!

There was this book that I read over and over again as a child. I must have been 6-8 years old and it was a children’s chapter book. I was thinking about how much I would love to read that book again, and read it to my girls but the thought occurred to me — I do not remember the title of the book or the author.

Not the actual illustration.

What I do know is that the book belonged to my father so estimated publish date was in the 1950′s. It was a hard back chapter book, although I do not remember the color of the actual book.

The book centered around two friends, both boys. They lived close to each other on separate farms (or a large plot of land) and had a mutual appreciation for a tree that was somewhere in the middle of their properties. They loved this tree and spent a lot of time playing on and around it.

The book goes through each season and there is a threat that new construction will tear down the tree. That  makes them very concerned. The book ends with the boys, now grown up and with families of their own, at a park. The tree that they loved has a fence around it, preserved.

That is pretty much what the book was about — friendship, and a single tree. I loved reading it because it showed how the tree changed through out the year. I read it so many times and loved it. I let a friend borrow it to read and she never returned it.  I have asked my Dad if he can remember the title of the book, but he cannot.

If you are a book junkie — do you know the book that I am talking about? Can you please help me find out what it was called and who wrote it. I would really love to find a copy for my home.

Morning Musings: Why Must I Miss Out on BEA.. Again?

It is that time of the year again and if you are a book blogger, hearing it is unavoidable. The Book Expo America is coming to NYC again. It is much a kin to a kid walking into a candy store. That is BEA for the majority of book lovers.

Including me.

Except I have never been and I will not be able to go this year. Again, I am missing out and it bums me out quite a bit. I cannot afford to go, myself, and to do so would require a generous sponsorship. (Or saving for.. ever?)

There are a ton of authors going to be at the 2012 Book Expo America autographing books including:

  • Lois Lowry (who wrote one of the best dystopian books of all time). Now I realize I forgot to even include her in my recommended dystopian reads. How could I be so absentminded? To get The Giver autographed would be the most amazing experience and I would treasure that book tremendously. Lois Lowry is also a speaker at the event and I would love the chance to hear what she thinks of the new dystopian craze.
  • Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket, people!!!)
  • John Green (I just read my first book of his, A Fault in Our Stars, and I’d love to get that baby autographed!)

The cost is just so much for me. It would include travel, hotel, food, activities, and book allowance. This doesn’t even include the cost of doing other touristy things in New York City (which I couldn’t possibly decide in the amount of time it takes to write this blog entry but I’ll name a few.)  As I have never been to NYC, of course I would have to be a typical tourist.

The rough estimate of simply attending the BEA would be:

  • Registration: $135/ticket, My husband, and Mother-in-law. (Although my husband is not a huge book reader, my mother-in-law is and reads a lot of the same books that I do. I would love to go with her.)  I would hope to leave my girls with my parents for the weekend. $405
  • Plane Travel: 3 adults (Approx $250 a person) $750
  • Book Allowance: (not including swag books) $200
  • Hotel: $2,085 (based on a nearby hotel from a company that I trust.)
  • Food: $250 (3 eaters and NYC restaurant prices) Just a guess.
  • Cab Fair: $150 (to and from the airport) or am I over/under estimating?
  • Unlimited Subway/Bus 7-Day pass: $50 per person for a total of $150
Just the cost of attending the BEA:  Approximately $3,990 (we’ll round up to an even $4,000)

Then there are extra activities we would like to do before we leave. (I mean, how often do I get the chance to go to NYC?)

  • Time’s Square
  • Central Park
  • Corner of Bedford and Grove (can you guess why?)
  • Empire State Building $23/ticket = $69
  • Statue of Liberty Tour = $13/ticket
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art $25/ticket = $75
  • Central Park Zoo $16/ticket = $48
  • Madame Tussauds, New York $30.60/ticket = $91.80
  • Toys ‘R Us Times Square (I would have to bring something home for the girls, right?)  unknown $$ 50?
  • American Girl Place (another gotta bring something home for the girls) unknown $$ $250?
Cost of extra activities: $596.8 (or another $600-ish.)

For me, going to NYC isn’t just the Book Expo America — but its for the entire New York City experience and that cost for the total New York BEA Experience for me is around $4,600. Who has that kind of money? Not this blogger.

Going to New York City is something I have never experienced before and if I had the chance to go to Book Expo America then I would kick myself for not taking advantage of all that the city has to offer. After all, in this dream situation of actually going, who knows when I would ever be able to go again?

So, if you are one of the lucky book bloggers able to attend the BEA this year — I have one simple thing to ask you. How did you do it?

Oh.. and, “Take me with you?

Wordless Wednesdays: Sisterly Love

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My Girls

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