Jul 182019
 

Weird But True! USA

Weird But True USA by NatGeo Kids

Age Range: 9 – 12 years
Grade Level: 4 – 7
Series: Weird but True
Library Binding: 208 pages
Publisher: National Geographic Children’s Books (March 19, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1426333722
ISBN-13: 978-1426333729

It’s weird. It’s true. And now, it’s red, white, and blue! Explore the wonderfully wacky side of the United States of America Weird But True! style.

Calling all patriots! Get ready to explore wacky wonders, facts, stats, tidbits, and trivia about America’s 50 states and territories! Did you know that there is a floating post office in Michigan? Or that a library book checked out by George Washington was returned to a New York City library 221 years late? Maybe you’d be amazed to discover that the ink used to print U.S. paper money is magnetic? In this latest and greatest edition of Weird But True!, you’ll encounter all kinds of bizarre people, places, events, and things that make our country great.

Thoughts
This book is another example of adults being able to enjoy books geared toward children. I love NatGeo Kids books!

I really enjoyed reading this book and I learned quite a bit. Here are a few things I learned:

1. An NFL game lasts longer than 3 hrs. but the ball is only in play for an average of 11 minutes.

2. In 1965 the Ohio General Assembly made tomato juice Ohio’s official beverage. Adoption of an official beverage coincided with the Tomato Festival held in Reynoldsburg, Ohio. (I never knew this even though I grew up in Columbus and went to Jr. High in Reynoldsburg. )

3. California sea otters have pouches under their arms for storing rocks which they use for opening clams.

4. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was originally named From Kansas To Fairyland

5. There’s enough water in Lake Superior to flood all of North and South America in one foot of water.

6. The spelling of the word Pennsylvania on the Liberty Bell is mispelled Pensylvania.

It’s a short book at just over 200 pages, but it’s page after page of interesting facts that few people are aware of.

I think people of all ages would enjoy it and learn a lot from it.

I recommend this book to anyone of any age and will be reading more from NatGeo Kids.

Jul 152019
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Linda Holmes

First
Go now or you’ll never go, Evvie warned herself. She didn’t want to be there when he got home from work. It was cowardly, yes, but she didn’t relish the whole thing it would turn into, the whole mess. He’d say, not unreasonably, that leaving with no warning at all was a little dramatic. Afer all this time, he would wonder, why now? He wouldn’t know that, today exactly, Evvie had been with him for half her life. She’d figured it out on the back of a grocery receipt a few months earlier, and then she had circled this date on their wall calendar in red. He’d walked by it over and over and never once asked her about it. If she let the day pass, she thought she might start to disappear, cell by cell, bone by bone, replaced by someone who looked like her but wasn’t.

Jul 142019
 

I recently saw Bryan post his favorite books from his last five decades and I enjoyed reading his favorites. Trying to think of my favorites from each year from that far back hurts my head so I thought I’d just share the 5 books that I always think of first when I think of my all time favorites.

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman
Dollanganger series by V.C. Andrews
Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo
The Stand by Stephen King
Zoya by Danielle Steel

Have you read any of these? What are your 5 favorite books?

Jul 142019
 

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

Outside…
It’s really quiet outside which means the neighborhood chickens are probably  not in my yard, the sky is a pretty blue with scattered clouds, it’s cool right now but the temperature is expected to reach at least 95° with a 20% chance of rain

Thankful…
For a vet that I really like and trust to care for my dog and 2 cats

Reading…
A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble

Listening To…
Starting The Overdue Life Of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms on Monday

Books Reviewed Last Week…
Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holmes
Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Listening to My Feelings by Michael Gordon

Book Reviews Coming Up This Week…
Weird But True USA by NatGeo Kids
Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines

On Hold At The Library…
Still waiting for The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren to come in

Watching…
I watched The Glass Castle on Prime Video yesterday and loved it, now I’d like to read the book

Mind Body Spirit… 
Starting a daily routine to help me keep my legs strong and keep my balance good since I’m getting near the age that women start having trouble with balance

In The Kitchen…
Today I’m making a roast, potatoes, & carrots in the slow cooker

New To Me Stuff:
Yesterday I tried the Pecan Chicken Salad Sandwich at Arby’s and it was really good

Today’s To Do List…
Watch a few movies, read, and relax

Looking forward to…
A less busy week

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

From the camera…

 

Jul 122019
 

Listening to My Feelings: Children's books, ages 3 5, kids, boys by [Gordon, Michael]

Listening to My Feelings by Michael Gordon

Illustrated by Max Larin

File Size: 9185 KB
Print Length: 21 pages
Publication Date: July 9, 2019
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
ASIN: B07V6GHVPL

Don’t let angry balloon pop! Here’s a great story for helping kids manage their feelings.

* Learn how to cope with feelings in a more natural way.
* Make it clear that hitting, kicking, biting are not allowed
* Behaving badly doesn’t make you bad
* Show your kids how to deal with disappointment
* Teach your children anger management skills
* Teaching kids about empathy, kindness, and compassion

Thoughts
This is a great book that will let children know that everyone gets mad, but that you need to control your anger and not lash out. It has a few different ways that will help them learn how to react in a calm way.

The illustrations are really cute and it’s short so it will hold the childs attention until the book is finished.

Jul 112019
 

Have You Seen Luis Velez?

Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Narrated by Michael Crouch

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 11 hours and 30 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Audible.com Release Date: May 21, 2019

Raymond Jaffe feels like he doesn’t belong. Not with his mother’s new family. Not as a weekend guest with his father and his father’s wife. Not at school, where he’s an outcast. After his best friend moves away, Raymond has only two real connections: to the feral cat he’s tamed and to a blind ninety-two-year-old woman in his building who’s introduced herself with a curious question: Have you seen Luis Velez?

Mildred Gutermann, a German Jew who narrowly escaped the Holocaust, has been alone since her caretaker disappeared. She turns to Raymond for help, and as he tries to track Luis down, a deep and unexpected friendship blossoms between the two.

Despondent at the loss of Luis, Mildred isolates herself further from a neighborhood devolving into bigotry and fear. Determined not to let her give up, Raymond helps her see that for every terrible act the world delivers, there is a mirror image of deep kindness, and Mildred helps Raymond see that there’s hope if you have someone to hold on to.

Thoughts
I know I say “I loved this book” a lot. I really do love books so it’s unusual for me to find a book that I don’t love. So for this book, I’ll say I triple loved it! It is a great story of a teenager with a heart of gold. He is everything a mother wishes for her child to be. He is like my children. They also are very caring people.

I loved listening to how the friendship between Raymond and Mildred came about and how it grew with time. They both added so much to each other’s lives and made them so much better! From the beginning I was hoping they would become close friends and “save” each other.

So much happened in this book and I couldn’t wait to get back to listening so I could find out what was going to happen next. I felt like I knew these people and was sad when the book ended. It touched me deeply and I know I’ll listen to it again. I’m hoping there is a “book 2” so I can find out what happened to everyone after the book ended.

I’ve loved every book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I’ve read, but this one is on the top of my favorites. The narrator did a great job too!

This audiobook is free with Kindle Unlimited so why not give it a try? If you do, I hope you love it as much as I did.

I’d rate this a 10★ and it will definitely be on my most favorite books ever & my favorites list for 2019.

 

Jul 102019
 

Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holmes

Narrated by Becca Battoe

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 3 hours and 47 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Listening Library
Audible.com Release Date: May 11, 2010

Life isn’t like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple.

She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida, to live with relatives she’s never met. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s hot and strange, full of ragtag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she’s spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls will love.

Thoughts
The age range for this book is 8-12, but I think that’s off. I’m way older (way way way older) than 12 and I LOVED this book, as I think most people above 8 would.

It’s a cute book about a girl named Turtle who is sent to stay with an aunt and cousins whom she doesn’t really know, and how the summer unfolds. At first Turtle isn’t welcomed by her cousins, but they slowly accept her and they all become best friends.

It’s a really cute story and I enjoyed every minute of it. There are some very funny parts, but also some that are scary and/or sad. It’s only about 4 hours long so it’s a good choice for when you have a few free hours. I listened to it on my way to and from work.

The book is narrated by Becca Battoe who did an awesome job!

And yes, I would recommend it!

Jul 082019
 

 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Becoming Boston Strong: One Woman's Race to Run and Conquer the World's Greatest Marathon

Becoming Boston Strong:
One Woman’s Race to Run and Conquer the World’s Greatest Marathon
by Amy Roe

Chapter One
Heartbreak

I am caught in a crowd of runners shuffling feebly through the streets when my cell phone rings. My dad’s raspy voice is on the other end: “Amy?”
He has no idea what had just happened. He can’t know. No one, save for those of us who have just seen and heard the explosions, knows about this yet.

I’m starting this soon!

Jul 072019
 

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

Outside…
Today is only supposed to be 85° but there’s a 50% chance of rain so it’s probably going to be really humid

Thankful…
That my kids and grandkids made it to PA and back safely

Reading…
A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble – had trouble getting it to fully download

Listening To…
Switched from reading to listening to Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

Books Reviewed Last Week…
And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer
by Fredrick Backman

Book Reviews Coming Up This Week…
Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holmes
Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

On Hold At The Library…
I’m next in line for The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren so it shouldn’t be long

Watching…
I watched some really good movies on Netflix last week: Remember, Her Only Choice and Running For Grace, and I also started a new to me series on Amazon Prime (I watch it on AppleTV) called Corner Gas which was filmed in Canada from 2004 – 2009. I’ve watched the first 4 episodes and it’s really funny. There’s a movie that was filmed in 2014 with the same name that I plan to watch after I finish the series

Mind Body Spirit… 
Thankfully my leg is a lot better, not 100% yet but it’s getting there

This Week In The Kitchen…
Salmon, Pulled Pork, Chicken, BLT’s

New To Me Stuff:
Dr. Pepper Diet Cherry, it was pretty good

This Week’s To Do List…
Monday my daughter and I are going back to St. Augustine because she has another job interview and a few places to look at to rent, then Tuesday I’m taking Kaiyo to the groomer and then to the vet on Saturday

Looking forward to…
A few days off this week

A Favorite Bible Verse…
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:11

From the camera…

From our trip last month

Jul 012019
 

Every Tuesday I host First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros sharing the first paragraph or two of a book that I’m reading or plan to read soon

Feel free to join in by posting your own FCFPTI and linking below

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman

Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan

For twenty-five years, Rose Lloyd has juggled marriage, motherhood, and career with remarkable success. It has been a life of family picnics, books and wine, a cherished house, and her own exquistely designed garden- sunny and comfortable. But then the carefully managed existence to which Rose has become accustomed comes crashing down around her when-over the course of days-her marriage and her career both fall apart. Rose finds herself in mourning for the tenderness of a lost partnership, for a shattered domestic life, and for the lost confidence of a woman who, until now, had made her own way.

Jul 012019
 

And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer
by Fredrick Backman

Hardcover: 96 pages
Publisher: Atria Books; Translation edition (November 1, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1501160486
ISBN-13: 978-1501160486

From the New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove, My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, and Britt-Marie Was Here comes an exquisitely moving portrait of an elderly man’s struggle to hold on to his most precious memories, and his family’s efforts to care for him even as they must find a way to let go.

With all the same charm of his bestselling full-length novels, here Fredrik Backman once again reveals his unrivaled understanding of human nature and deep compassion for people in difficult circumstances. This is a tiny gem with a message you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Thoughts
I love Backman’s books and this was no exception. It’s a very short book but the message is huge!

Noah, who he calls NoahNoah, is a bright light in his Grandpa’s life. They spend time together as often as they can and have a few routines that keep them on track, since Grandpa has dementia.

The book has a feeling of being make believe or a dream. Grandpa talks to NoahNoah, his son Noah, and to his wife who passed away years ago. It is sad and touching and makes you think about what the future has in store for you.

This book is very different from his other books. It is very much worth the time and money to read it. I enjoyed it very much.

Jun 302019
 

Sunday Reflections

Linking up with:
Sunday Salon
Sunday Post

Outside…
Right now it’s one 87° but with 66% humidity it “feels like” 96°.  It’s supposed to get up to 96° with little chance of rain.

Thankful…
For the time spent with my daughter and youngest grandson yesterday. We went to see The Secret Lives Of Pets 2, which was hilarious. After the movie we went shopping and then ate at a local Chinese Restaurant

Reading…
A Beach Wish by Shelley Noble – still trying to download

Listening To…
Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Books Reviewed Last Week…
I’m Fine And Neither Are You by Camille Pagan
Postcards From A Stranger by Imogen Clark

Books Needing Reviewed…
Turtle In Paradise by Jennifer Holmes
Have You Seen Luis Valez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Weird But True USA by NatGeo Kids
Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering by Joanna Gaines

On Hold At The Library…
Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman by Elizabeth Buchan
(The Two Mrs Lloyd #1) for my book club

Watching…
Yesterday I watched the first 3 episodes of Mr. Iglesias on Netflix, it is really funny! I’ve loved Fluffy for many years and was excited to see he had a tv show, but I seemed to forget about it until yesterday so I have to catch up

Mind Body Spirit… 
I worked 16 days in a row and then on my first day off I woke up to a sore leg, in the back of my knee. It feels like a pulled muscle or something and I’m having a hard time walking, it hurts a lot. I’ve been putting BioFreeze on it but it doesn’t seem to be helping

In The Kitchen…
Not sure because I worked 4 hours this morning and have to go back this afternoon and won’t be home until about 8:30, so…probably something really quick

New To Me Stuff:
I can’t remember trying anything new last week

Today’s To Do List…
Working and resting, with books, computer, tv

Looking forward to…
My daughter has a job interview in St. Augustine Tuesday and since I don’t work that day she wants me to go with her

A Favorite Bible Verse…
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD
Psalm 150:6

From the camera…

Jaspurr reached her paw around my laptop to say hi!