Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: Love Makes a Garden Grow

A beautiful story about family, flowers, and love. I love how this little girl ties the memory of her grandfather's flowers to love - when they are apart AND when they are together. The illustrations are lovely. 

This one made me miss my grandmother, who also loved flowers. It will make you hug your loved ones close. 

* Book sent for review


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Library Holds

 This week's topic is one we've done before and my list hasn't changed, so I changed the topic for me. Instead, I'm sharing books I put on hold at the library. I often have 10 to 20 books on hold. It's worse if I read a review journal while I'm in front of the catalog and place holds as I go...

Any of these on your list too? Or have you read any of these?

Monday, May 29, 2023

Review: The Sister Switch


* Book 2 in the Best Wishes series * 
Addie is the middle sister - and she feels ignored. It's hard being the middle sister. When a bracelet arrives in the mail for her, she puts it on. Without thinking, she makes a wish. Addie wishes she were no longer the middle sister. 

And a Freaky Friday is pulled. She's immediately transported into her older sister's body. Her youngest sister is now herself and her oldest sister is now the youngest. 

It makes like (especially homework) challenging. Addie's loving the relaxed rules. As Sophie, she has her own room. She has her own phone. But she misses her friends. Her older sister doesn't have any friends. That's when Addie decides to make her sister's life better. Addie's determined to help her sister gain friends and stop worrying so much about schoolwork.

But is that what she's supposed to do? How will they switch back and when?
My Thoughts: This is a super cute Freaky Friday story. I'm a fan of both Sarah Mlynoswki and Debbie Rigaud's book.  

I love the moments between the sisters - when they were fighting and when they were trying to help each other. I liked the connections to Book 1 with Becca coming into the story. I'm even more curious about the woman who wants to steal the bracelet. 

I can't wait to see where the bracelet ends up next.

Book 3 with a new co-author:

Cover Thoughts: Adorable
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendations: A must have series for your school and public library! 

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday Spin-off: YA Authors

   This week's Top Ten Tuesday had my brain working in overdrive. There are too many authors that I MUST read, so I made several lists....

Today I'm talking about YA authors:

Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Ally Carter
Emma Lord
Sheley Elston
Lisa Schroeder
YS Lee
Robin LaFevers
Sarah Dessen
Miranda Kenneally 
Tirah Prize
Jennifer Yn
Morgan Matson
Emery Lord
Gloria Chao
Siobhan Vivian
Jenny Han
Jennifer Iacopelli 

* This is super hard to do without standing in the library.
** I'm sure I'm missing some 

Friday, May 26, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday Spinoff: Middle Grade Auto-Read Authors

  This week's Top Ten Tuesday had my brain working in overdrive. There are too many authors that I MUST read, so I made several lists....

Today I'm talking about middle grade authors:

Debbi Michiko Florence
Jessica Burkhart
Shannon Messenger
James Ponti
Svetlana Chmakova
Jen Calonita
Kayla Miller
Suzanne Nelson
Jennifer L. Holm
Nancy Springer
Alan Gratz
Elizabeth Eulberg
Jessica Day George
Jen Petro Roy
Barbara Dee
Carrie Firestone

* This is super hard to do without standing in the library.
** I'm sure I'm missing someone!

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday Spin-off: Children's Fiction Authors

 This week's Top Ten Tuesday had my brain working in overdrive. There are too many authors that I MUST read, so I made several lists....

Kelly Yang
Sarah Mlynowski
Erin Soderberg Downing 
Stephanie Burgis
Katherine Battersby
Lyla Lee

Across Ages:
Lauren Castillo (author and illustrator)
Kate Messner (Author)
Christina Soontornvat (Author)
Shannon Hale (Author)
Sarah Beth Durst

* This is hard to do when I'm not in the library in front of the shelves...

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday Spin-off: Picture Book Authors and Illustrators

I talked about my adult auto-read authors. Here are my picture book ones - some for the author and some for the illustrator. 

Vashti Harrison (author and illustrator)
Ryan T. Higgins (author and illustrator)
Nicola Edwards and Natalie Marshall 
Tara Nicole Whitaker (illustration) 
John Schu (author)
Joanna Ho (author)
Sophie Blackall (author and illustrator)
Robin Preiss Glasser (illustrator)
Ame Dyckman (author)
Peter H. Reynolds (author and illustrator)
William Bee (author and illustrator)
Pat Zietlow Miller (Author)

I'm sure there are authors - but that's my list for right now. Any of these also your favorites?

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Read Authors

 This week's topic is auto-read authors. Because I work in a library, I rarely buy books for my home library. Mostly I purchase them for the library (or ask the person in charge of the collection to order something.) I order kids and teen books. (I will talk about those books later in the week). Today I'm sticking to adult books because it would be too many otherwise.

Adult Authors:
Kristan Higgins
Sarah MacLean
Jill Shalvis
Jenn McKinlay
Sarah J Maas
Janet Evanovich
Sarah Morgan
Alexa Martin
Jasmine Guillory
Susan Mallery
Maya Rodale 

Across Ages:
Meg Cabot
Sarah Beth Durst
Jennifer Estep

I know there are others, but I'm drawing at blank at the moment.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Review: The Matchbreaker Summer


Camp Seabrook has been in the family for years and Paisley can't imagine a summer without it. This year, she and her friends are finally counselors. But Paisley knows a secret, this summer is the last summer the camp will be in her family. 

Her mom is selling the camp and they are moving. Ever since her father died, it's been a struggle to keep the camp open. Paisley's mom's boyfriend is moving back home to care for his mother. Paisley and her mom are going with him. 

But that's not what Paisley wants. She shares her thoughts with Hayden. Paisley doesn't like Hayden and the feeling is mutual. But he's there when she needs to spill her secrets. Telling him doesn't mean anything because he's not in her life. 

Until he gets pulled into be a counselor at the camp this summer too. And he has an idea that could change everything. What if Paisley broke her mom and Dave up? That would fix everything...
My Thoughts: This was a cute story - but it did have some characters making terrible choices. My heart hurt for Paisley and her troubles. I felt badly that she was fighting with her mom and her best friend. But I did really enjoyed her interactions with Hayden. I liked the camping and the activities, seems like a fun place to be in the summer. And I did like the ending. I read this on the plane and didn't want to put it down. 

Cover Thoughts: Adorable
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your school and public library collections. This is a super cute one for the summer. 

Also Annie Rains writes adult romances, which are also quite good. 

Like books about Camp? check out my Book List from last year.

Sunday, May 21, 2023

Movie Review: Air


Air on Amazon Prime:

I really enjoyed this movie about Nike making the deal with Michael Jordan. I haven't always watched basketball. I didn't watch Michael Jordan, so most of this was new to me. 

It was fascinating how Nike wasn't even a big deal until this moment. 

I loved Viola Davis. She rocked this movie. 

And I really liked the way they handled Michael Jordan.

There were some funny moments. 

I loved how they created the shoe prototype.

And I love how they changed the world.

I highly recommend this one!

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Taylor Swift Challenge: Swiftie for Life

Taylor is in playing New England this weekend, and it's so close to me. But I have other plans (and didn't even try to get tickets). 

So this looked fun...
But it's hard to choose which songs are my favorites! Of course, all are Taylor's Versions. That's just a given. 

1. Tim McGraw - I'm an OG fan and when I heard this, I knew it was going to be the start of something magical. 
2. Picture to Burn
3. You Belong with Me
4. Last Kiss
5. All Too Well (Ten Minute Version)
6. Bad Blood
7. Getaway Car
8. Paper Rings
9. You Belong with Me 
10. Christmas Tree Farm
11. Already married, so missed the boat...but maybe Enchanted or Long Live
12. Red
13.  Right Where You Left Me
14. I Knew You Were Trouble
15. Invisible String
16. That was the Moment that I Knew
17. Begin Again
18. 22
19. The Last Great American Dynasty
20. Mad Woman
21. Shake it Off
22. Christmases When You Were Mine
23. Back to December 
24. Sadly haven't been to one - almost saw her in a very small venue, but she canceled last minute to be in the recording studio for her second album. But wouldn't that have been amazing?
25. No Body, No Crime (But Babe is a close second)
26. Today was a Fairy Tale
27. Mr. Perfectly Fine
29. Betty
30. Forever & Always

Any of these your answers too? 

Friday, May 19, 2023

Review: Bake, Borrow, and Steal


* Book 14 in the Bakeshop Mystery series *
Torte Bakeshop has been selected as the bakery for the biggest Shakespeare happening - an exhibit of the unveiling of a long lost manuscript. It's the first time the pages will be on American soil. Jules and her team have been working around the clock to create a massive chocolate centerpiece and an authentic meal fit for the Bard himself.

On the day of the gala, a rumor races through the event. The manuscript has been stolen before anyone's been allowed to see it. The public is kept at bay, but that doesn't stop someone from murdering the security guard...
My Thoughts: Another page turner in the series - I read this one on the plane. It's nice to go back and spend time with favorite characters. It would be lovely to visit Torte! My mouth waters at the baked good available in the store. Although, I'm not a huge Shakespeare fan, I did enjoy the different ideas surrounding the author's identity in this book. 

Cover Thoughts: Love it
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Hopefully, you already have this cozy series in your library....

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Review: The Diva Delivers on a Promise


* Book 16 in the Diva series * 
Sophie and Nina are headed to a luncheon meeting at Gerrie's house. Lunch is cut short when a dead body is discovered on the floor of the dining room. No one knows the victim, or so they say. Sophie and Nina dig into the mystery only to discover that several people in the room didn't speak up. 

There was bad blood between him and Gerrie's family. All of the family members were in and out of the house that morning. Any one of them could have murdered the man. Gerrie's worried that one of them did. She asks Sophie for a little favor...
My Thoughts: Another fun addition to this series. The idea of a ghost restaurant seems both strange and smart to me. As always, it's lovely to catch up with favorite characters and to read about the mouth-watering goodies they all eat. I enjoyed the plot twists and turns as Sophie and her friends tried to undercover the murderer's identity. I enjoyed getting to know more about Wong and my heart went out to her. Another fun read that kept me turning the pages. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: This is a perfect series for your library' cozy collection. 
Release Date: May 23rd (Next week!)

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: Sad but Powerful Books

Just a couple books highlighting sad but powerful stories - immigration, dreamers, and hurricane damange.

A young boy and his family are forced to leave their house and return to Mexico in order to remain together.

This is a bilingual book - it's sad and heartbreaking and yet hopeful. There is an author's note at the end of the book. 

Carmen's father disappears on day - because he doesn't have any papers. Carmen doesn't understand. She isn't supposed to tell anyone their family secret, but she tells her friend. 

Another sad book about families being torn apart. This one doesn't have a happy ending, but it is hopeful. There is an extensive author's note in the back of the book with great information. 

Elena and her family live in Puerto Rico. When a hurricane hits the island, everything changes. They lose running water, electricity, and the mango tree in their yard. But their neighborhood pulls together and helps each other. They replant gardens and clean up. Months later, the mango tree spouts a green leaf and the coquies come back.

This book has a great message - home has changed forever, but we are still here. There's also a great author's note at the end of the book that talks about the hurricane and also about the differences between states and Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Top Ten Tuesday: Hobbies

 This week's topic is hobbies - outside of reading, reviewing, and blogging.

It's not surprise that I do a lot of crafting:

For myself - for self care

And some of those pieces get added to my Etsy Shop

1. Painting - mostly watercolor these days

2. Card Making

3. Soap Making

4. Knitting - I knit while watching TV to keep my hands busy. I knit scarves because I don't have to think about it. Most of these go home with me at Thanksgiving for Christmas/Holiday baskets in my hometown and the local areas.

5. I also love hanging with my pups:

6. Hiking - recently took a trip to the Grand Canyon.

7. Puzzles - got back into puzzles during the pandemic.

8. Baking

9. Eating 

10. Hanging out with friends

Monday, May 15, 2023

Review: The Lake House


Claire is afraid of everything, but nothing horrific has ever happened to her until this summer. Her parents sent to her to The Lake House, where they had their own summer experience. They are hoping a summer away will break Claire out of her disaster pessimistic style thinking.

But when Claire arrives with two other girls, they find the house burned to the ground. And then they discover the dead body in the woods. Something is happening - something bad. 

It's Claire's time to shine. All her worst fears are coming true. But the best part is that Claire, Reyva, and Mariana stick together. Could their friendship keep them safe together?

My Thoughts: I was a little skeptical at first - because I'm not a horror fan. The cover is a little creepy for me, but Sarah Beth Durst swore it wasn't too scary. And she was right. First, I love her novels. Second, I couldn't stop turning the pages on this book. I needed to know what happens next! I loved the friendship between the three girls - their banter and how they opened up to each other. I loved how they struggled to survive. The action, danger, tension and the suspense kept me turning the pages quickly. And that ending! 

Cover Thoughts: Creepy!
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: A Must Have thriller for your library's collection 

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Happy Mother's Day

 Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, aunties, grandmothers, and the mother figures

Thursday, May 11, 2023

Review: Escape from Grimstone Manor


Three friends are going on one last ride together before the amusement park closes. But the ride breaks down. One by one, they get out of the car. When the ride resumes, they can't scramble back to the car in time. Unfortunately, they are locked in the manor house for the night. The ride required them to leave their phones in lockers outside the ride. 

The three friends search for an exit, but nothing opens - including the emergency exit and the windows. Matteo discovers a secret passageway. And that's where things go sideways...

Could the creepy stories about local legend Hezekiah Crawly be true?
My Thoughts: Confession time: I wasn't sure I was going to like this because I'm not much for scary stories. BUT I needed to try it after meeting the author. And it was a great story! Of course, I didn't read it after dark, which might have helped. I'm a huge chicken.

But it wasn't too scary - a little gruesome with some creepy moments. 

I loved this debut novel. I loved the friendship. They were very different people and they bickered, but they also saved each other. They were brave when the moment came. 

The monsters were fun, creepy, and icky. Lots of action meant I kept turning the pages quickly. I would not want to be staying overnight in that mansion! Looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Cover Thoughts: Creepy and wonderful 
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendations: Highly recommended for your school and public library's collection. 

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Picture Book Wednesday: Mother's Day Books

Just a few books celebrating Moms for Mother's Day

A child has a fun day with both their moms. 

A cute story with lovely cozy illustrations. I especially love the getting ready for bed moments and reading together.

Lots of animal families celebrating the strength of their moms. 

So many things that moms can do. A super cute book about love and family. 

Moms are different in every family - this book celebrates those difference. And the love moms have for their children.

It's sweet, but I guess I'm jaded because not all moms do the things they claim. Still, it's a lovely story for kiddos. 

One child misses her Mommy who is on a work trip but luckily her Mama is there to make her feel better. 

A sweet story about missing people you love. I love that Nina LaCour (Author of Teen Books) has started writing picture books. 

A sweet story about moms and babies - from humans to animals.

This one has a fact book in the back about the different animals showcased in the book. The illustrations are soft and charming.