Monthly Archives: August 2014

Beautiful Day by Hilderbrand



This book was really enjoyable. I think half of it may be because I’m in the throws of wedding planning myself so reading about another person’s wedding was relaxing in a way. I didn’t have to play any of it, I could just enjoy. I’ve read a few of Elin Hilderbrand‘s books and I always like them. I love reading about places I’ve been or lived. Especially beautiful places like the Cape. This is another book with multiple POVs and they match each other really well. You never get a POV from the bride though (not that I remember). I originally picked it up because it was in cheap mass market format at the airport but it turned out being really compelling and I finished reading even after I was done traveling.

“The Carmichaels and Grahams have gathered on Nantucket for a wedding. Plans are being made according to the wishes of the bride’s late mother, who left behind The Notebook: specific instructions for every detail of her youngest daughter’s future nuptials. Everything should be falling into place for the beautiful event–but in reality, things are far from perfect.”


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Toddler Palooza

The past week we had Toddler Palooza! It was a kick off to the beginning of my fall programming. I sort of did a Toddler Palooza back at my old library. It was called Pinterest Playday and I had all of these activities stolen from Pinterest for moms to bring their kids to do at the library. It was essentially things that moms don’t want to do at their own houses because it makes a big ol’ mess. I saw another library doing something similar in an issue of School Library Journal. Brooklyn library called theirs Toddler Palooza. I liked that better so that’s what we named the one I just had here. I emailed the woman who did it and got her early literacy tips (already formatted!) to add to my event.

So, what is Toddler Palooza? Mine was a set of 11 stations of early literacy activities for the kids to roam around to at their whim. It took about one afternoon to prep the things that needed made. And another afternoon to set it up. This is my list of stations.


Paper party: shredded paper in a bucket.

Bean bash: three kinds of beans and measuring cups in a bucket

Sticky fingers: contact paper taped sticky side up to a table

Bubble wrap jump time: bubble wrap taped to the ground

Gel pads: ziplocs filled with hair gel and subsequently taped to cardboard as a makeshift etch-a-sketch thing. I attached a link of where I got the idea from, however that lady put items in hers like ocean animals. One time I tried to do that and they broke open much more easily because of the edges on the animals. So I don’t do that anymore. And I tape them down flat to cardboard in order to keep them from getting squeezed or bit open.

One mom said it was like Disneyland for toddlers! 🙂

14 - 2

bubble wrap jump time

14 - 4

water beads

14 - 7

paper party

14 - 8

bean bash

14 - 9

125 happy attendees

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Filed under children, day in the life, special events

One Plus One by Jojo Moyes



I read this book on my trip also. I had started listening to it on audio book before I left and picked up at that spot on the plane. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to get into it because it took me three times to get in to her previous book, Me Before You. But once I got into it I really liked it!

This book also has different chapters for each character, which I love. There are so many great books that are doing this now, like Liane Moriarty‘s books. And they’re doing it well. Moyes’ last book became super popular and although I liked it a lot I’m not sure I liked this one as much. I think that sometimes happens when an author gets lots of attention. They have a great book and then everyone has such expectations for the next one that sometimes it flops. This definitely didn’t flop in my opinion but it wasn’t as good.

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Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty



I went on a little trip back home for 4 days so I haven’t posted much. However, I always read SO much when I travel because I’m stuck on planes or in airports for half the day. There’s no direct flight from where I live to where I’m from so there’s always a layover with nothing to do. It’s the little things.

On this trip I finished Big Little Lies which is written but the same author as the crazy popular, Husband’s Secret. I loved that book so much. Again, I love books that move from character to character. They are such a quick read because you fall in love with one and want to move back to the next. So great. But it takes a seriously good writer to be able to connect them all and Liane Moriarty is very good at the connections. Like Husband’s Secret it had a shocking climax, one I actually wasn’t expecting which is what she’s going for I’m sure. Definitely a great read if you liked her previous book.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.”


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The Arsonist by Sue Miller


I read this book so quickly a few weeks ago so quickly that I forgot about it. That’s not to say it wasn’t good. It was. I love Sue Miller. Especially The Senator’s Wife. That book was awesome. I also read Lake Shore Limited which was loosely about September 11.

Although I enjoyed it, it wasn’t one of her best. She has compelling characters and endings that are never completely tied up. That’s what I like. She’s probably not for everyone.

“A superb new novel about a family and a community tested when an arsonist begins setting fire to the homes of the summer people in a small New England town.”

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Vacationers by Emma Straub


Occasionally I find a good beach read. I’m not really into fluff reading unless I’ve just read 5 really serious/long books. Which I’v’e done. So, after finishing the All Souls Trilogy I really needed something pointless and short. I kept seeing this book on all the summer to-read lists (see below) and so I picked up a speed read copy at my library (7 days). Although I had to read it quickly in order to return it, it wasn’t hard to do so. It was a super quick read and in multiple POVs which I absolutely love.

I will say it’s not a climactic book. I tried to explain what it was about to my fiance and he didn’t grasp the appeal. “Nothing happens. How is that good?” So if you’re looking for action, this isn’t it. Granted, the man doesn’t read so I wouldn’t take his opinion too seriously. God love him.

Summer Reading lists (Vacationers included)

Fodor’s 10 books to read on summer vacation

Entertainment Weekly beach bag books

Glamour summer reading list

New York Post, 29 best books of summer

Huffington Post tells us Amazon’s best-selling summer reads

And lastly, a Kirkus Review (my favorite) of summer novels you won’t be able to put down.

I mean seriously. This book is all over the place. If you don’t believe me when I say it’s good at least believe all these other people. And if you’ve already read it you can get an idea for another good summer book.

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All Souls Trilogy

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I didn’t seem to review book two of the All Souls trilogy so I thought I’d do both that one and the final one.

Shadow of Night is book two in the series. I feel like all second books in a series have a stalling factor no matter what. You’re on this high from book one and nothing is as good. In fact, I wrote an entire post about how book two in a series usually sucks. It’s unfortunate. Anyway, I wouldn’t say Shadow of Night sucked but it definitely didn’t read as quick as book one. Diana and Matthew are together and now they’re in a different time. All those characters you learned to love from book one have disappeared and you have to learn everything over again. And these characters from 1590 are not as wonderful so it’s hard to get into it. There is a twist in there around 2/3 in (if you make it that far). I think I honestly finished so quickly only because I was at ALA and I had my other books shipped back home. So it was the only thing I had to read on my plane ride from California to Iowa. Power through it y’all!

Because then you get to read the final book, Book of Life. This book just came out a week or two ago. I think I finished it within a week of buying it. I found it at Target for $19.99 and it was autographed. Win! Anyway, as evident by the title this is the book where Diana finally gets her hands on the all important Book of Life. Other stuff happens too. Important stuff. And while it is only a trilogy and I’ve heard no other words about it continuing there is a bit of an open ending with some of the characters. So that’s exciting.

All in all I’m really glad I found this series. It was entertaining and historical. I enjoy historical fiction that isn’t dry and boring. It also had fantasy and romance. It’s a bit like Harry Potter and Twilight mixed together but with adult themes. Capeche?


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