Monthly Archives: March 2016

John Adams by McCullough

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I had visitors here from Texas this weekend and we had a great time going in to the city and walking the Freedom Trail! It was very timely considering I just finished listening to John Adams by David McCullough. I had started listening to 1776 because I was misinformed. I thought 1776 was the book that John Adams the HBO series was based on. Turns out it was based on John Adams. Shocking, since they have the same name. *slaps head* This one is wonderful and won the Pulitzer in 2002.

Anyway, I loved walking around Boston seeing lots of the buildings and places that were talked about during the time John Adams lived. I also genuinely loved the audio narrator, Edward Herrmann (grandfather of Rory Gilmore, may he rest in peace). I will admit, I listened to the abridged version. I’m a bad person and wanted to sum it up in 9 DISCS instead of 26. Oy.

I am now going to listen to the biography of Abigail Adams by Woody Holton OR a biography of both of them such as First Family by Joseph J. Ellis or Abigail and John by Edith B. Gelles. Suggestions on which is best? It may just come down to getting whichever is available at my library..

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2016 Reading Challenge: a New York Times bestseller

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Filed under 2016, adult, audiobooks, award winners, book review, movies, non-fiction, Reading Challenge

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

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Now that you’ve seen the trailer of the movie, let’s talk about the book. When Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children first came out I looked at the pictures inside and thought, this is a scary book. I don’t do scary books. I am easily frightened and consider movies like Shutter Island and Seven to be terrifying, much to the chagrin of my spouse. Thankfully, this is not a scary book and once I saw the Tim Burton trailer I knew I would want to see the movie and should read the book beforehand. I read it in a week, which isn’t bad.

Jacob’s grandfather has died. He thinks it was a monster in the woods. Obviously his family then thinks he’s crazy. But all Jacob’s life his grandfather told him fantastical stories about monsters and peculiar children from his childhood so it could be true. He’s not sure. Until he deciphers his grandfather’s last words and takes a trip to a mysterious island.

I liked the mystery surrounding the place where these peculiar children live. It was explained well considering the craziness. If you don’t think it’s crazy, try to explain it to someone who hasn’t read it. I’m interested to see how they explain it in the movies since there won’t be words on a page to help form the idea. All in all a good book. I probably won’t continue the series until I see the movie and the next one is released. Too much to read.

2016 Reading Challenge: a book that’s becoming a movie this year

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Filed under 2016, book review, children, fiction, movies, Reading Challenge, young adult

Miss Peregrine Trailer

My husband is in love with Eva Green (particularly the Penny Dreadful version Eva Green, so I’m not sure this is a movie he’s going to love). I showed him the trailer for Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and he immediately wanted to go see the movie. So now we’re reading the book in preparation. Well, I’m reading the book. I got two copies so he could read it with me but I don’t think he’s opened it. Maybe you’ll have better luck.

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The Widow by Fiona Barton

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This book is all over the place: at bookstores, at libraries, on hold lists. It has a hold list of a whopping 380 people at my library. Insanity! I finished reading it in two nights, which is also insanity. It might sound like I was in love with it since it was such a quick read but I’m not. I only gave it 3 stars. This book is being marketed as a Gone Girl (<- my thoughts about Gillian Flynn) and Girl on the Train read-alike. I was not in love with those novels. I read them, yes, but I only read them so I would know what they were about and could suggest them to patrons. I often read books I don’t really care about so I can use them when I’m doing reader’s advisory. Sometimes they’re enthralling, like these 3 books about seriously disturbed women. But do I like them? No. I don’t find much interest in psychologically damaged women and how they manipulate people but it is definitely interesting and apparently people DO find interest in that because these 3 books are crazy bestsellers. I’m happy I read it, but I would only recommend it to people I know were in love with Gone Girl or Girl on the Train. If that’s YOU, go ahead and add yourself to the 380 other people who have it on hold at my library.

2016 Reading Challenge: a book published in 2016

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Reading Challenge

I’m a few months late to the Reading Challenge thing but I can’t wait to participate now that I know. Luckily, I mark the date I read things in Goodreads so I can just back track through the past few months. I’m going to do the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2016 (image below) because that’s what my friend is doing and I like accountability. There’s also one via Book Riot called Read Harder and Bustle has one as well to encourage reading books by women and writers of color.

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I have already completed a few of them or have some books that I’m reading right now that will qualify. I’m not counting kids books, which is a lot of what I read.

A National Book Award Winner AND A book of poetry AND A Book that’s Under 150 pages: Faithful & Virtuous Night by Louise Glück

A YA Bestseller: Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard

A Book Translated to English: The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal (translated from French)

A Book Set in Europe: Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho

A New York Times Bestseller: 1776 John Adams by David McCullough

A Book You Can Finish in a Day: Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee

A Murder Mystery: These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

A Book with a Blue Cover: Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (re-read)

A Book from the Library: Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

A Book about a Culture You’re Unfamiliar with AND A Book that Takes Place on an Island: Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lại

A Book that is Published in 2016: The Widow by Fiona Barton

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Filed under 2016, adult, best lists, book club, book review, current news, day in the life, fiction, fun facts, non-fiction, Reading Challenge, short stories

Parent Teacher books

I read two great books this morning that we belong in our Parent Teacher section of the library. This section encompasses a lot of things. Death, emotions, new baby, separation (going to school fits in here), moving, and much more. Books like these make me happy I don’t have kids that I have to explain these hard topics to. Sometimes I can barely explain them to myself. The two I read this morning are about death and moving away.

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Always Remember by Cece Meng is about Old Turtle who swims his last swim and breathes his last breath and is then take away by the waves. That’s how it starts out.Then the book goes on to show all the people he helped and their memories of him. Old Turtle will always be remembered by all the animals in the sea for his good deeds and his good heart. We could all hope to be remembered as such. A great way to explain and talk about loss. What memories do you have of those who are gone?

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Before I Leave by Jessixa Bagley is about moving away. Like death, it’s also a hard thing for kids to grasp. Hedgehog, never named in the story but one of her moving boxes says Zelda, is moving away. She tells her friend the aardvark, also never named but his letter to Zelda says Aaron, that she’s moving. They’re both very sad but they decide to play one last time as though nothing was changing. At the end Zelda does move away but when she opens her suitcase Aaron has left her a note and some pictures so he doesn’t feel as far away. They become pen pals, something kids probably don’t even know about *REAL LETTERS*, and this seems to satisfy her. I’m not sure that ending will satisfy all kids but it is a nice book.

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Maybe a Fox

 

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How beautiful is this cover? I love it. Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee are fairly well known authors. Let me tell you some things they’ve written.

Kathi Appelt wrote The Underneath, which was a Newbery Honor book in 2009, and The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, which was a National Book Award finalist in 2013. Alison McGhee recently wrote Firefly Hollow, which I read some of, and Someday which was illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds (a God).

Now on to Maybe a Fox. A quick read, I read in one 2-3 hour sitting. This book is heart wrenching. Oh em gee. It is SO sad. Not only does Sylvia die once as a human, (spoiler alert!) she dies AGAIN as a fox. Good Lord. It’s no wonder Jules is so messed up and yells at her friend. She lost her mom too young and is starting to forget her and then her sister dies. I did really like the book and I flew through it but it’s just so tragic that I’m not sure I’d recommend it to a kid unless I knew them.

2016 Reading Challenge: a book you can read in a day

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Filed under 2016, book review, children, fiction, Reading Challenge