Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish blog.  Click on the image above to visit their blog and join in the fun yourself!

Top Ten Favorite Books I've Read With Joe
This week's topic is "Top Ten Graphic Novels" or "Top Ten Picture Books."  I did my Top Ten graphic novels last week... so I won't repeat that.  And I could do just plain "Top Ten Picture Books."  But wouldn't y'all rather know what board books I've loved sharing with my own little one?  Isn't he adorable?  (I'm a little biased.)  ;)

Image result for goodnight train sobel
1. The Goodnight Train by June Sobel.  It has a refrain of "chugga chugga chugga chugga shhh shhh."  A wonderful bedtime read!

Image result for freight train crews
2. Freight Train by Donald Crews.  A classic Caldecott Award winner!  Joe reaches for and pulls this one off the shelf on the regular.  I think he really likes the high-contrast pictures of trains!

Image result for that's not my train watts
3. That's Not My Train by Fiona Watt.  It's a touch-and-feel, and features trains.  Win win!

Image result for i love you stinky face
4. I Love You, Stinky Face by Lisa McCourt.  Joe got this book from his aunt.  It's such a fun book to read to a little boy!  The title sums it up pretty well.  :)

Image result for i ruff you magsamen
5. I Ruff You by Sandra Magsamen.  This book is all about how much you "ruff" your little one, and it has ears coming off the top, just right sized for little hands to grab!

Image result for llama llama red pajama dewdney
6. Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney.  Who doesn't love a rhyming book about llamas in pajamas?  As you can see in the pic above, we went on to receive the Christmas Llama Llama book too!

Image result for but not the hippopotamus boynton
7. But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton.  Rhymes and is hilarious and has classic Boynton adorable illustrations.  I can't wait until Joe is old enough to "get" the humor!

Image result for big chickie little chickie trasler
8. Big Chickie, Little Chickie by Janee Trasler.  It's a cute book with cute illustrations and rhymes and if you go online you can listen to the author sing the words with acoustic guitar!

Image result for you are special lucado
9. You are Special by Max Lucado.  Such a sweet, sweet message to share with Joe!

Image result for noah's ark lippman
10. Noah's Ark by Peter Lippman.  This book looks so cool!  When it's closed, it makes this 3D ark figure, with all the animals (in clothes!) hanging out on it.  Plus it teaches counting along with the Noah story!

And you?  What are your top ten graphic novels and/or picture books?  I'm especially vested in this week's Top Ten Tuesday!  I have a boy now who I can read picture books with!  Who I will eventually read graphic novels with!  I'm so excited.  Leave your link and I'll definitely come visit!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Rumors by Anna Godbersen | Audiobook Review

Rumors (Luxe, #2)

Rumors is the second book in the Luxe series, and it's so much better than the first book!  Elizabeth has faked her own death and is now out west with Will, and her sister Diana is back in NYC with all the drama.  Elizabeth's ex-fiancee, Henry, has no shortage of girls vying to take Elizabeth's place, and her former maid is even making a play into the social scene.  

I think the addition of the characters out west really helped this book.  California in the late 1800s is fascinating!  So rough and tumble.  Elizabeth became more well-rounded, as we saw her working on making things work out there, without her maids and cook and society papers.  I enjoyed getting to know her better in this book; getting to know the side of her who just loves Will, without worrying about what anyone else thinks.  And once she lets that side of herself out, it bleeds out into her whole life- she starts caring about her mother and sister genuinely too!

Speaking of her sister... Diana really comes out of her sister's shadow in this book.  She's a bit of a wild card in the NYC society!  I love it!  Very independent and smart.  I'd want to be Diana's friend if I was living in the Luxe world.

The plot of the whole book is that the past can haunt you.  Society is busy doing what they do best: whispering rumors about their own members.  There are rumors flying about Elizabeth, of course, and also about her sister Diana.  There's also rumors about the newest member of society, Lina Broad, and where she came from.  Can the teens stay ahead of the rumors, or will they come around to bite them?  There's actually a little bit of suspense in this book!

I listened to the audiobook and thought it was decently done.  There wasn't anything to rave about, but nothing to complain about either.

*I checked out my copy of Rumors from my local library.

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen | Book Review

The Luxe (Luxe, #1)

Flashback Friday Review!

I originally read Luxe by Anna Godbersen back in March 2013 and I didn't write a review!  Disappointed in my former self.  It'd be so much easier to keep up with series if I had reviews of my own to look back on!

I gave it only one of five stars.  It kind of reads like a historical fiction soap opera, but I found quite a few anachronisms in it.  Definitely a fluffy read and not one that would require a lot of brain power to breeze through... kind of like a mimosa for the mind.

Here's the official synopsis, so that we can be caught up on the plot before I review the rest of the books!

Pretty girls in pretty dresses, partying until dawn.  Irresistible boys with mischievous smiles and dangerous intentions.  White lies, dark secrets, and scandalous hookups.  This is Manhattan, 1899.  Beautiful sisters Elizabeth and Diana Holland rule Manhattan's social scene.  Or so it appears.  When the girls discover their status among New York City's elite is far from secure, suddenly eveyrone--from the backstabbing socialite Penelope Hayes, to the debonair bachelor Henry Schoonmaker, to the spiteful maid Lina Broud--threatens Elizabeth's and Diana's golden future.  Withthe fate of the Hollands resting on her shoulders, Elizabeth must choose between family duty and true love.  But when her carriage overturns near the East River, the girl whose glittering life lit up the city's gossip pages is swallowed by the rough current.  As all of New York grieves, some begin to wonder whether life at the top proved too much for this ethereal beauty, or if, perhaps, someone wanted to see Manhattan's most celebrated daughter disappear... In a world of luxury and deception, where appearance matters above everything and breaking the social code means running the risk of being ostracized forever, five teenagers lead dangerously scandalous lives.  This thrilling trip to the age of innocence is anything but innocent.

*I checked out my copy of Luxe from my local library.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

The Fall of Five by Pittacus Lore | Audiobook Review

The Fall of Five (Lorien Legacies, #4)

Today I'm reviewing The Fall of Five at Tynga's Reviews.  Click on the cover image above to find out more!

*I checked out my copy of The Fall of Five from my local library.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Library Technology and User Services: Planning, Integration, and Usability Engineering by Anthony Chow | Book Review

Library Technology and User Services: Planning, integration, and usability engineering

A wonderfully, surprisingly good read!  I was assigned this for a class, of course, but I'm serious:  I actually ended up enjoying it.

Library Technology and User Services doesn't sound like it describes two things that typically go together, but Chow and Bucknall tie them together in a very common sense way.  Each chapter addresses both topics together.  It gives very practical advice on how to serve library patrons through excellence in technological assistance.  It's also a quick read.  No high brow academic language here, and no unnecessary filler.  It's worth every penny paid.

I bought this book for a class and plan to keep it around.

*I own my copy of Library Technology and User Services.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish blog.  Click on the image above to visit their blog and join in the fun yourself!

Top Ten Graphic Novels I've Read
I don't read a lot of graphic novels.  I love them, and I always intend to read more, and then I get distracted.  These are the top ten that I've read.  (This week is a "freebie" week; everyone gets to pick their own topic!)

The Harlem Hellfighters
1. The Harlem Hellfighters by Max Brooks

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel (Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children Graphic Novels, #1)
2. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs

Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb
3. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

The Silence of Our Friends
4. The Silence of Our Friends by Mark Long

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller
5. Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller by Joseph Lambert

Coffee with Jesus
6. Coffee With Jesus by David Wilkie

Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man, by Brian Michael Bendis, Volume 1
7. Spider-Man Volume 1 by Brian Michael Bendis

Little Fish: A Memoir from a Different Kind of Year
8. Little Fish: A Memoir From a Different Kind of Year by Ramsey Beyer

Moonhead and the Music Machine
9. Moonhead and the Music Machine by Andrew Rae

Friends With Boys
10. Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Leave your link below- I'm curious to see what kinds of lists everyone makes today!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar | Book Review

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

This book was spooky good!  It's about a group of college students who went hiking in northern Russia in the 1950s and never returned.  Their bodies were found many yards away from their tent, in odd positions and only half dressed.  The tent was found with a large slash cut from the inside out, as though the hikers cut a "back door" into their own tent in sub-zero temps before walking away in nothing but their socks.

What the hell happened?

That's what the author sets out to discover.  Along the way he meets a few very interesting Russians and learns some pretty cool science.

You might not think there was much to write about.  A group of kids decides to go hiking in northern Russia in January and dies.  Of course.  But it turns out that there really is quite a few different reasons for everything that happened!  You'll need to read the book to find out.  There's some science near the end that I hadn't ever heard of!

Book includes photographs taken by the group and by the search-and-rescue teams.

*I checked out my copy of Dead Mountain from my local library.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

I'm over at Tynga's Reviews today, stacking my shelves!  Click on the image above to find out what books I brought home this week, and to add your stack to the shelves!

Friday, January 20, 2017

The Rise of Nine by Pittacus Lore | Book Review

The Rise of Nine (Lorien Legacies, #3)

Flashback Friday Review!

My final Flashback Friday Lorien Legacies review!  The Rise of Nine is the third book in the series, and I gave it 4 of 5 stars in December 2012.  And didn't write a review.  2012 Marie was lazy!  But I'll provide the official synopsis here, so that we're caught up on plot:

"In Pittacus Lore's The Rise of Nine, third in the New York Times bestselling I am Number Four series, the stakes are higher than ever as John, Six, and Seven try desperately to find the rest of the Garde before it's too late.  The Mogadorians who destroyed the planet Lorien continue to hunt down the Garde, the small group of Loric survivors who have taken refuge on Earth.  The Garde must come together.  They are Lorien and Earth's only hope.  During the dangerous mission at the Mogadorian base in West Virginia, John found and rescued Nine.  But even with their combined powers, special abilities known as Legacies, the pair barely escaped with their lives--and they lost Sam in the process.  In order to save our world and their own, John and Nine must join forces with Six and Seven who have been battling the Mogadorians in Spain, and who are now trying to locate Number Eight in India.  Power in numbers will save us all."

*I checked out my copy of The Rise of Nine from my local library.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Beautiful Darkness by Karmi Garcia and Margaret Stohl | Audiobook Review

Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)

Today I'm over at Tynga's Reviews, gushing about how much I love this magical Southern series.  Within that post is a link to a review of the first book of the series, Beautiful Creatures, by my colleague.  Click on the book cover above to read more!

*I checked out my copy of Beautiful Darkness from my local library.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday

Happy Tuesday!  Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by the ladies at The Broke and the Bookish blog.  Click on the image above to visit their blog and join in the fun yourself!

Top Ten Hidden Gem Books I've Read in the Past Year or So
And these are in no particular order... I couldn't rate them.  I liked them all a lot!

Napoleon's Pyramids (Ethan Gage, #1)The Rosetta Key (Ethan Gage, #2)The Dakota Cipher (Ethan Gage, #3)
1. The Ethan Gage series by William Dietrich.  I've read the first three of the series.  I didn't care for them at first, but then I got hooked!  I fell in love with the very fallible Ethan Gage.

Storm Warning
2. Storm Warning by Billy Graham.  This is an older book, but I only just read it last year.  SO GOOD.  Billy Graham ties current events to the book of Revelation and makes it all so applicable.

The Library at Mount Char
3. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins.  A suspenseful thriller!  This book demanded my attention:  there were many details that it was necessary to note as the story unfolded and it was a pageturner!  I picked up based on title alone, without reading the synopsis and was rewarded with a very rich and unique story.

Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)
4. Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco.  Such a thriller!  It felt almost like a YA Stephen King... but less gore.  But all the suspense and thrill.

What We Saw at Night (What We Saw at Night, #1)What We Lost in the Dark (What We Saw at Night, #2)
5. What We Saw at Night and What We Lost in the Dark by Jacquelyn Mitchard.  This is a really cool YA duology.  The main characters have a disorder that prohibits them from ever being in sunlight, so they live their lives at night.  They do neat stuff like parkour apartment buildings or deep free dive in the lake... all at night.  Add to that a thriller of a crime to solve.  I was on the metaphorical edge of my seat through both books!

Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America
6. Wild Ones by Jon Mooallem.  This is a nonfiction book about extinction and global warming.  It is really unique, though, in it's impartial viewpoint.  I know- unbelievable, right?  But true!  The author never, not once, comes across as preachy.  It took me until the end of the book to even figure out what side of the issue he fell on.  He also relates the issue (both sides) to real world scenarios, so you feel totally connected to it.

Dorothy Must Die: Stories (Dorothy Must Die, #0.1-0.3)Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die, #1)The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2)
7. The Dorothy Must Die series by Danielle Paige.  I've read all the prequels and the first two books and I love them!  Such a cool "sequel" to The Wizard of Oz.

The Cage (The Cage, #1)
8. The Cage by Megan Shepherd.  I love this author!  I don't feel like she gets enough praise and talk in the blogosphere.  

Shovel Ready (Spademan, #1)Near Enemy (Spademan, #2)
9. Shovel Ready and Near Enemy by Adam Sternbergh.  A short dystopian adult duology with a super snarky main character.  I love me a good snarky main character.

Product Details
10. Big Chickie, Little Chickie: A Book of Opposites by Janee Trasler.  This is a board book, but it opened my eyes to a whole new way to experience books for the newest generation: it had an accompanying musical reading of the book!  You could enter a web address (found on the back cover) to hear the author play guitar and sing the words!  Love it!

And  you?  What sleeper hits did you discover this past year?  Leave a link and I'll be sure to visit back!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!  Let's all remember to follow his examples of peace, unity, and civility with each other.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves

Today I'm over at Tynga's Reviews, stacking the shelves!  Click on the image above to join in the fun!

Friday, January 13, 2017

The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore | Book Review

The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies, #2)

Flashback Friday Review!

As I mentioned last week, I had discovered that I was missing reviews on Lorien Legacies books #1-#3, so I'm catching up now.  I was lazy back in 2012, and didn't bother to write a review of The Power of Six on Goodreads.  I did give it 4 of 5 stars, though.  Here's the official synopsis, so that we can keep up-to-date on the plot:

"I've seen him on the news.  Followed the stories about what happened in Ohio.  John Smith, out there, on the run.  To the world, he's a mystery.  But to me... he's one of us.  Nine of us came here, but sometimes I wonder if time has changed us-if we all still believe in our mission.  How can I know?  There are six of us left.  We're hiding, blending in, avoiding contact with one another... but our Legacies are developing, and soon we'll be equipped to fight.  Is John Number Four, and is his appearance the sign I've been waiting for?  And what about Number Five and Six?  Could one of them be the raven-haired girl with the stormy eyes from my dreams?  The girl with powers that are beyond anything I could ever imagine?  The girl who may be strong enough to bring the six of us together?  They caught Number One in Malaysia.  Number Two in England.  And Number Three in Kenya.  They tried to catch Number Four in Ohio- and failed.  I am Number Seven.  One of six still alive.  And I'm ready to fight."

*I checked out my copy of The Power of Six from my local library.