Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, totally worn out and screaming,
"WOO HOO, what a ride!"

Friday, August 30, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Why Children's Books Matter

The New York Public Library is hosting a free multimedia retrospective  in the Stephen A. Shwarzman Building until 3/23/14. The exhibit is entitled The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter and it includes more than 250 books, art pieces, etc.

Today's Publisher's Weekly (8/29/13) features a great article Children's Books and Beyond: A New Exhibit Draws Unexpected Connections with more information and photos. I've never been to the NYPL but I would LOVE to go!

An art piece modeled after Milo's toy car in The Phantom Tollbooth.

A Where The Wild Things Are  installation.
(Exhibit photos by Jonathan Blanc)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Close Ups #10

Here's another close up from one of my photos. Join in by adding your guess in the comments below. Don't be afraid to try! There is no penalty for wrong guesses and there might even be some book-type prizes along the way. Comments will be hidden until I reveal the answer Sunday. What do you think this is?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Mini Reviews - Benny Immura series by Jonathan Maberry

I don't review library books as often as my own books. It would take me forever to get any finished! But these are some recent reads that were really good and deserve a little attention so here are my mini reviews.

Rot & Ruin (Benny Immura #1) - Jonathan Maberry

This was a book I picked up from a display at my library. I'm so glad I did! It's the first book in a young adult dystopian/post apocalypse series. Although "zombies" are a large part of the story the main theme is how the characters have learned to make a life since the world changed fifteen years earlier. Towns are few and far between and the lifestyle is self sustained, similar to early settlers. The pace is fast with plenty of action and the story is very interesting. The characters are well established with a firm foundation and room to grow. I hope they get that chance in this new world. I could not put this book down!

Dust & Decay (Benny Immura #2) - Jonathan Maberry

The action continues in another fast ride with more character development. We learn more background from the people introduced in the first book and meet some new characters in this one, none of them are boring. Whether you like them or hate them, be prepared to feel strong emotions.  The zombies aren't the worst enemies out there. The living conditions are harsh and sometimes brutal but there is humanity and hope. I wish this series had been around when my boys were younger!

Flesh & Bone (Benny Immura #3) - Jonathan Maberry

I'm reading this one now and almost finished. Wow! Another amazing story! The chapters are often short and end with cliff hangers that won't let you put the book down. They alternate between characters so you really have to keep reading. The living conditions are still brutal but in some new ways. There is plenty of violence but within the context of the story, not gratuitous or obscene. The emphasis is still about hope, friendship and old fashioned good vs. evil. Another intense and thrilling read.

Fire & Ash (Benny Immura #4) - Jonathan Maberry

The final book in the series. The release date was moved up from 9/13 to 8/13/13! I hate for it to end but I can't wait to see what happens. My library system doesn't have it listed yet but I am reserving this ASAP and looking for more books from this author. Love these creepy covers!

Author site

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Close Ups answer #9

It's been a busy time around here! I got to enjoy our annual Girls' Night with family. We spent the night at my mom's eating banana splits for dinner, painting our nails, doing jigsaw puzzles, talking and bonding until 5:30 a.m. It was especially emotional since my niece is leaving for her first year of college this week. We also have our grandson, Monkey Boy, here for a few days because his sister, The Princess, got her tonsils out this morning and the hospital is two hours away.  We are having fun but are worn out already! Needless to say, I haven't had much free time to blog, read, shower or even pee by myself. I forgot how those days used to be! So anyway...

Did you guess what this was?

Answer: A tire!
This is from my son's truck that he just sold. (He needed a more family friendly truck with an extended cab) This is a 1967 Ford. Isn't she a beauty?

A point goes to:
Enbrethiliel (I didn't mean to remove your comment!) "+JMJ+ A tyre and hubcap? =)"

Friday, August 16, 2013

Upgrading my ereader

I love my Nook Color and have had it for almost two years. I still prefer "real" books but it's so handy to travel with my Nook and have access to the many ebooks that are available now. My brothers and I bought our mom a Nook Simple Touch too but hers is just a black and white reader, not a tablet. It's lightweight, has a long battery life and she has loved it! I've been looking into upgrading but I'm tight with money and had no plans to get anything yet and there are so  many to choose from. I did notice the prices are dropping lately on the Nook tablets (as the prices usually do) and while flipping around the channels last month I noticed QVC had a smokin' deal. I've never bought anything there before, I've barely watched it, but this had my attention.

They had a 24 hour sale on Nook HD+ tablet (9" 32 GB). It was marked down from $340.00 to $170.00. That was compatible with other places that were also marking them down to close to that price at $180.00 but it was the 16 GB. So with more space this was a better deal. They also included an extra charger and $143.00 worth of apps and magazines and you could pay for it over 5 payments. Wow! I wanted to order it right then but I didn't. I went to bed and checked in the morning. I thought it they were sold out it wasn't meant to be. The ad was still there and the sale ended at midnight. Hubby said to order it but I tried to talk myself out of it. Then I told my mom to see if she was interested. She was and at 11:00 p.m. with 59 minutes to spare we ordered two of them. It was painful to push that last button to make the sale complete but it was exciting!!

I decided to get another Nook because I've enjoyed the experience with Barnes & Noble and I can keep everything I already have on my account. I now have access to my books and games on both Nooks and much more storage. It was definitely a terrific upgrade! I am having way too much fun with the games and apps now. So far it's been a great purchase and I use it every day. I still have to get a cover I just haven't found what I want yet. For my Nook Color I found a nice deal on line that included a cover, screen protector, extra cords, etc. It was very inexpensive and has held up well. I just need to hurry up and pick something and get it ordered.

I'm in no way affiliated with QVC or B&N, this is just my experience. Is anyone else familiar with this tablet? Do you have an ereader?

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Close Ups #9

Here's another close up from one of my photos. Join in by adding your guess in the comments below. Don't be afraid to try! Comments will be hidden until I reveal the answer Sunday. What do you think this is?

Review: Far Far Away by Tom McNeal

A dark contemporary fairy tale

It says quite a lot about Jeremy Johnson Johnson that the strangest thing about him isn't even the fact his mother and father both had the same last name. Jeremy once admitted he's able to hear voices, and the townspeople of Never Better have treated him like an outsider since. After his mother left, his father became a recluse, and it's been up to Jeremy to support the family. But it hasn't been up to Jeremy alone. The truth is, Jeremy can hear voices. Or, specificially, one voice: the voice of the ghost of Jacob Grimm, one half of the infamous writing duo, The Brothers Grimm. Jacob watches over Jeremy, protecting him from an unknown dark evil whispered about in the space between this world and the next. But when the provocative local girl Ginger Boultinghouse takes an interest in Jeremy (and his unique abilities), a grim chain of events is put into motion. And as anyone familiar with the Grimm Brothers know, not all fairy tales have happy endings. . .

Young adult veteran Tom McNeal (one half of the writing duo known as Laura & Tom McNeal) has crafted a novel at once warmhearted, compulsively readable, and altogether thrilling--and McNeal fans of their tautly told stories will not be disappointed.

This book was very different from what I have been reading lately. It was described as a "dark, contemporary fairy tale" and I thought that was an accurate description. It was an interesting mix of all of those. As I was reading it the story felt very much like an old fashioned fairy tale. It had a bit of a slow build up but it kept my attention and as I became more engrossed in it I sometimes forgot this was a contemporary setting. 

The little town of Never Better includes an odd assortment of residents. Jeremy is a lonely teen boy who has become an outcast because he admitted to hearing voices of ghosts. He lives alone with his odd father, in an odd bookstore in an odd town. Jacob Grimm (of the famous Grimm Brothers) is an old ghost, companion and protector of the boy from an unknown threat. He is also the narrator who weaves his past and Jeremy's present together through alternating chapters. It is his voice That Jeremy hears although he now keeps it a secret. When Ginger, an adventurous teen, becomes interested in Jeremy, they set in motion a change of events that changes everyone's lives.

I wasn't sure how this would all come together but the author did it well. The suspense built into a dramatic ending. This was my first book by Tom McNeal but it won't be my last.  I would especially recommend this for those who enjoy the style of classic fairy tales. 
Thank you to NetGalley for an arc ebook in exchange for my honest review.

Release date: 6/11/13
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Pages: 384 (hardcover)
Type: YA fantasy

Monday, August 12, 2013

Close Ups answer - #8

Did you guess what this was?

Answer: Batman logo (on Monkey Boy's pajamas)
This was always a big deal at our house when my boys were little. My middle son, who just turned 23, adored Batman! For years he played with the toys and dressed like his favorite superhero. My kids seemed to have the most fun when they let their imaginations run wild - black cowboy boots, grandpa's snowmobile gloves and a homemade cape were good enough to help them fight crime! Happy bday middle son!

A point goes to:
Cindy Smith & Kaye

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Saturday Snapshot

 Saturday Snapshot (originally hosted by At Home with Books) is now hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. To participate in this meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.
 So many family changes lately! Good changes - graduations, new apartments, new jobs - but it's still making me sentimental. My last boy moved out yesterday so my nest is empty. For now. They've moved in and out a few times and it's been fine with us. (I did it twice to my mom!) Two sons live in town and have added to our family. One son lives two hours away and comes home most weekends. I'm so proud of all of them and I'm a very lucky mom. Please indulge me as I reminisce.
Little Wright Brothers
We didn't get to Kmart photo studio before closing time so I made them pose in the back yard
Playing in the mud
Soccer games
Family photo in the yard
Tried to pose for Christmas card photo but dogs wouldn't cooperate and boys wouldn't smile. Epic fail!
Traditional first day of school photo. They were pissed but I wouldn't let them leave until they did it!
Oldest boy's first day of college. I cried when when each boy got a turn
Mother's Day pose
At the pool's beach during our Universal Resort vacation
Last night of family dinners at Margaritaville, Universal Orlando
Father's Day - 3 generations of Wright Brothers!!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Close Ups #8

Somehow I'm having a very busy, yet lazy summer at the same time! I can't believe it's August and we are doing the rush to fit everything in before it's over. My youngest son moved recently and now my middle son is getting ready to move so we are busy helping with the cleaning and painting. And of course we are spending as much time as possible with the grandkiddos! I always slack off on blogging this time of year but I wanted to get another Close Up posted. I'm using the camera every chance I get so I have lots to share!

Here's another close up from one of my photos. Join in by adding your guess in the comments below. Don't be afraid to try! Comments will be hidden until I reveal the answer Sunday. What do you think this is?

Close Up #8