Friday, April 29, 2011

Bad Dog, Marley! by John Grogan illustrated by Richard Cowdrey


Mommy, Daddy, Cassie, and Baby Louie welcome Marley, their new Labrador pup, into their family. But Marley doesn't stay a tiny puppy for long. He grows and grows, and the bigger Marley gets, the bigger trouble he gets into. Big, bad-boy trouble. Whether it's chewing Mommy's reading glasses or swallowing Daddy's paycheck, Marley is a dog like no other. He tries to be a good dog, honest he does, but everything he tries ends up bad. Then one day Marley goes too far. Will this family have to find a new home for their big, crazy, pure-hearted dog?

Inspired by John Grogan's bestselling memoir, Marley & Me, this heartwarming story shows that loving someone, flaws and all, can reap huge rewards.

My thoughts:
I still haven't gotten around to reading Marley and Me.  I've thought about it, but my TBR pile is always overflowing and it hasn't happened yet.  I did see the movie so I have a general idea of what happens, but I am sure things were changed from book to movie.

This is a fun story.  He keeps trying his hardest to be good and ends up doing the wrong thing again and again.  The illustrations are really well done and bring the story to life.  I read this to both my preschool students and my children at home.  The all love the way the Baby Louie talks, that brought laughs each time we read it.  Other favorite parts were Marley eating from the table, drinking from the table, peeing and pooping and bringing home a pair of underwear.

It is evident from reading this book that this family had a lot of love for their dog and came to see him as a member of the family. 

All of us make mistakes, even when we are trying our hardest, so it is nice for children to see that mistakes and being mad don't make change the way people feel.  That there is unconditional love.

Product Details

Pub. Date: July 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback , 40pp
Age Range: 4 to 7
Series: Marley Series
ISBN-13: 9780061171161
ISBN: 0061171166

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison

A seasoned author of supernatural tales, Harrison makes her YA debut with the story of 17-year-old Madison Avery, who is killed by a "dark reaper" named Kairos on her prom night. But by stealing Kairos's amulet in the process, Madison manages to retain her soul. Along with Barnabas, a beautiful "light reaper," and Grace, her guardian angel, Madison plots to repossess her body and protect her prom date from Kairos and from the dark reapers' attempts to control time and fate. Having been content as an outsider ("I was happier being myself-purple hair, loud music, dead, and everything-than trying to fit in"), Madison must build her trust in others in order to save her life and discover her fate-whether or not she even believes in fate. Though rules and explanations seem at times a little too convenient, Harrison weaves an exciting battle, not between good and evil, but between free will and destiny. A compelling blend of mysticism, suspense and surprise make for a quick and pleasurable read. Ages 12-up.

My thoughts:
A couple years ago I read Prom Nights From Hell which featured the first story about Madison Avery.  I'm afraid I don't recall it very well, just that she died on prom night and stole an amulet that allowed her to appear to still be alive.  This book picks up four months later.  Madison and Barnabas, a light reaper, have been working all summer on Madison learning to touch his thoughts.  Through attempting to thwart a dark reaper they find out that the amulet Madison stole belongs to a Timekeeper, not an angel.  Once it is revealed to the dark reapers that Madison is alive she starts needing a guardian angel to keep her safe. 

At times I felt bad for Madison because her life was stolen away from her, but at others I got frustrated with her.  She is trying so hard to be herself, but in doing so is going to an extreme so that she doesn't fit in, and then blaming the way others see her on them instead of on herself.  Her outfits sound cool, but if she is going to complain about being singled out by being different than she doesn't need the added bonus of purple tips in her hair and odd clothing.  To me being yourself is being comfortable with who you are and dressing how you want and not worrying about what other people are saying about you because you are true to yourself.  At the same time, she is in high school and that is a time when it can be more important to feel good about what others think and say about you.

The angel elements and Timekeeper role kept this fresh for me.  The dark reapers work for a dark Timekeeper who is human, but has an amulet that allows him to not age and live indefinitely.  They follow orders from the seraphs and believe in fate.  The light reapers are trying to thwart the dark ones by believing that people have a choice to make and fate cannot be predetermined.  The dark reapers are there to kill people who will one day cause a lot of pain for other humans.  This part reminded me of Minority Report and the way policing was done based on a prediction that someone was going to commit a violet act.

Madison is living with her father after having gotten into too much trouble while with her mother for sneaking out and breaking curfew.  She misses her friend Wendy and hasn't really made a lot of new friends.  In order to try to fit in more she has shied away from some of her interests like photography.  This again to me says she was not really being herself.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the second book of the series and how her senior year of high school goes.

Product Details

Pub. Date: April 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback , 232pp
Age Range: Young Adult
Series: Madison Avery Series , #1
ISBN-13: 9780061441684
ISBN: 0061441686

Monday, April 25, 2011

Birds Can Fly and So Can I: A Giraffe Soars from Dreams to Reality by Noa Nimrodi Illustrated by Tamir Lichtenberg

Birds Can Fly and So Can I is a charming and engaging book about the joy of dreaming and the thrill of achieving cherished goals. With endearing rhyme and spectacular illustrations, this book captivates its readers as they watch adorable animal buddies "clap with glee and chirp with praise" in support of Giraffe's dream to take flight. Birds Can Fly uses stunning artwork and witty verse to deliver its message about developing undiscovered talents. With innocence and appeal, it teaches children to stretch themselves to reach new heights and to cheer others on as they do the same. (Age 3+)

My thoughts:
I received this book from Bostick Communications for review purposes.  This story is cute and easy for children to relate to.  The giraffe sees all the birds in the sky and wishes that she could fly with them.  When she goes to sleep for the night she dreams that her spots become wings and she can fly.  She takes her friends along with her on her neck, and even when she becomes tired, she still sings about her joy for all to hear.

The way each of the lines rhymes makes it easy to read and it flows well.  Rhyming books always seem to be a hit with my children as well.  The rhythm of this book makes it fun to read. I was a bit thrown by the lack of punctuation through.  It seems like each line should end in either a comma or a period.  The lack of punctuation is not something either of my older children seems to notice however. 

The message was portrayed in an easily relateable way.  Believing in oneself, going for your dreams, and remembering to be thankful for each day.  These are things we all need to hear so it is heartening to have them in a book where children will be excited to read because they like the story.  The illustrations were very nice too.  The author and illustrator are cousins who grew up together in Israel.  The author now lives with her family in California, but she is also an artist.  The way the birds are drawn in the story is the same way she taught him to draw when they were children.  I liked that information from the back of the book, it just added something special to the story behind the way the book came into being, made a connection for me to the author and illustrator.  This book was translated from Hebrew to English.  I wonder if the Hebrew version also rhymes.

Product details:Birds Can Fly and So Can I by Noa Nimrodi

ISBN: 978-0-9794805-1-5
Publisher: Grassroots Publishing Group
Date of publish: May 30, 2011
Pages: 32
S.R.P.: $12.95

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney


Boys don’t keep diaries—or do they?

The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to

It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary.

In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion.

Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things.

Since its launch in May 2004 on, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day

My thoughts:
This is the latest audio book I listened to with my children in the car. Last summer we listened to book four on a car trip because that was all the library had and my children had seen commercials for the movie about this book. Even though it has been almost a year since we watched the movie for the book I have to say that it seems to have followed the book pretty well.

Greg is sarcastic and a bit mean. I'm not sure what I think of him as a model for my own children. I know children think the books are funny, and it definitely had me laughing out loud at times, but he simply isn't that nice. In deciding if he should do the right think in admitting that he was the one who did something wrong he decides to let his friend, "Take one for the team." However when he admits the wrong doing to his friend he did suffer the consequences of his actions which to me was a lesson in itself. It brought some jumping off points for talking about honesty and doing the right thing.

Middle school seemed like the hardest of the school years, not academically, but socially to me. For a number of reasons eighth grade was particularly hard for me. I think the time between sixth and eighth grade is hard because everyone starts changing at different times and students start changing classes more and a whole host of opportunity for bullying arrives. I can see why Kinney would set his story in middle school rather than high school or elementary.

Even though I am not sure of how I feel about Greg I think it is likely that I will continue on with the stories with my children. I'm finding that if I introduce characters, authors and series to my children they later check those books out of the school library on their own because they want to read more and anything that gets kids excited and interested in reading more is a positive thing (age appropriate content of course, not ANYTHING anything- since they are in elementary school I am hoping the school library wouldn't have anything questionable).

Product Details

Pub. Date: April 2007
Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Format: Hardcover , 224pp
Age Range: 8 to 11
Series: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series , #1
ISBN-13: 9780810993136
ISBN: 0810993139

Sunday, April 24, 2011

In My Mailbox

This week I received two books in the mail that I won from other bloggers contest.  This one came from Princess Bookie:


Anne Michaelson is trying to forget everything that happened last year. But it's hard to do when her heart aches for Ethan and there's a wild-haired woman stalking her...

This one came from Ryan at Wordsmithonia


Six years ago, Lucy Kincaid was attacked and nearly killed by an online predator. She survived. Her attacker did not. Now Lucy’s goal is to join the FBI and fight cyber-crime, but in the meantime, she’s volunteering with a victim’s rights group, surfing the Web undercover to lure sex offenders into the hands of the law. But when the predators she hunts start turning up as murder victims, the FBI takes a whole new interest in Lucy.

With her future and possibly even her freedom suddenly in jeopardy, Lucy discovers she’s a pawn in someone’s twisted plot to mete out vigilante justice. She joins forces with security expert and daredevil Sean Rogan, and together they track their elusive quarry from anonymous online chat rooms onto the mean streets of Washington, D.C. But someone else is shadowing them: A merciless stalker has his savage eye on Lucy. The only way for her to escape his brutality may be another fight to the death.

The next three came from a comic book store my family often visits on the weekend:


Nancy gets a call for help late one night from a girl she befriended over the phone when getting technical support to help fix her computer. When the line goes dead, Nancy is determined to get to the bottom of things. Soon, Nancy, her Dad, and friends George and Bess are on their way to India to find Kalpana, the girl who wasn¹t there! It's only a matter of time before Nancy is captured by Sahadev the crime lord and is being sacrificed to Kali! Ages 8 to 12.

Papercutz is the exciting new graphic novel publisher that's building a huge following among the next generation of comics fans. Even the most reluctant readers are becoming addicted to the Papercutz approach of giving classic characters a modern makeover! Each Papercutz graphic novel features comics stories drawn in the style of the popular Japanese comics known as manga, and beautifully rendered with state of the art color. While educators rave about the high quality of the Papercutz writing and artwork, readers 8 and up are simply enjoying the great adventures found in each fun-filled volume. Be sure to check out other Papercutz titles such as The Hardy Boys, Zorro and Totally Spies


Frank and Joe Hardy finish up a case helping a fellow ATAC (American Teens Against Crime) agent, who sharp-eyed fans may recognize despite her Alias.

Things seem to quiet down when ATAC sends Frank and Joe undercover to investigate a new Mall opening in Bayport, due to several suspicious accidents there. But things get exciting when the night before the big opening, Joe, Frank, and seven others are mysteriously locked in the mall with a murderer on the loose. If that wasn't enough, everything that could go horribly wrong in a mall, does. A flood caused by water beds. An electrocution at an electronics shop. A bow and arrow used to kill in the Sporting Goods store. A runaway elevator. A damsel in distress in the dress shop. Fire in the food court. And much, much more. Ages 8 to 12.

Papercutz is the exciting new graphic novel publisher that's building a huge following among the next generation of comics fans. Even the most reluctant readers are becoming addicted to the Papercutz approach of giving classic characters a modern makeover! Each Papercutz graphic novel features comics stories drawn in the style of the popular Japanese comics known as manga, and beautifully rendered with state of the art color. While educators rave about the high quality of the Papercutz writing and artwork, readers 8 and up are simply enjoying the great adventures found in each fun-filled volume. Be sure to check out other Papercutz titles such as Nancy Drew, Totally Spies, and Zorro.


Adventurer Lara Croft visits exotic locales in search of the world's greatest treasures. From the archives of Top Cow Productions, one of the leading publishers of comic books in North America, Bandai Entertainment is proud to release a new series of graphic novels featuring the best of Lara Croft's adventures!

From one of DBD's newest publishers!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recycle Everyday Written and Illustrated by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace


When Minna has a school assignment to make a poster about recycling, her entire rabbit family spends the week practicing various kinds of recycling and suggesting ideas for her poster.

My thoughts:
This was a really age appropriate book about recycling and making a difference.  I used it with my preschool class this week to talk about Earth Day and the letter "R".  Minna and her class are making posters to compete in a contest for a calendar for the community.  Minna takes the whole week to think about what her poster should look like.  Each day her family does something to be green.  They donate old or outgrown clothes, use reusable bags at the grocery store, recycle cans, donate books, compost and use plastic containers instead of plastic wrap to save left over food.  At the end of the week Minna makes a poster for recycling everyday.

It can be hard for young children to see how they can make a difference, but each of the ideas Minna's family does is something young children can see and understand.  After reading I had the students raise their hands if these are things their families already do.  Lots of them hand their old clothes down to a friend or family member, use reusable bags and recycle cans and bottles.  Last summer my family started composting.  My children love to take kitchen scraps to the compost bin.  During the winter I didn't take a lot out there, but now that it is warming up I can't wait to get started again.

Product Details

Pub. Date: March 2006
Publisher: Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
Format: Paperback , 300pp
Age Range: 4 to 8
ISBN-13: 9780761452904
ISBN: 0761452907

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

X/1999 Prelude Vol. 1 Story and Art by Clamp


As part of the X/1999 series, this volume features breathless action and stunning art. When Kamui returns to Tokyo, he learns that his childhood girlfriend Kotori and psychic Princess Hitoni are having strange dreams about his role in a coming apocalypse! Is he the angel of salvation, or the devil of destruction?

My thoughts:
I wanted to explore other books in this genre.  I think this would count as a manga book, but if I am wrong I am quite open to correction.  The manga books I've read so far were all of novels that I have already read, so the characters were familiar and the story was one I already knew but was looking at in a different way.  This book was all new to me.  The first time I started it I wasn't even sure if I would finish it or not.  Things kept throwing me.  Male characters with names ending with "a" while female characters ended in "i".  I had to start it again after putting it down for a few days.

The action was interesting and the storyline is intriguing.  I can see why it is rated T for teen, not for anything romantic in nature but for the the very violent fighting.  It is going to take a few more books for me to see if this is what books set in Tokyo are all like.  I am still on the fence too as to whether I want to continue reading these.  I want to make sure to broaden my reading.  I tend to get stuck on a certain type of book and then keep reading in one genre so to be a more well rounded reader I am branching out.  Luckily my library has a very large collection of these, so if I do decide to keep going I won't be stuck spending a lot of money!  I am going to look for volume 2 next week to see where the story goes.

Product Details

Pub. Date: April 2003
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC
Format: Paperback , 200pp
Series: X/1999 Series , #1
ISBN-13: 9781569319499
ISBN: 1569319499

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Frindle by Andrew Clements


Is Nick Allen a troublemaker?

He really just likes to liven things up at school -- and he's always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever - the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there's nothing Nick can do to stop it.

My thoughts:
This was our latest audio book in the car.  After listening to all five of the Gregor the Underlander books it was time for something shorter and less involved.  This one was less than two hours long, but told an engaging story that had my children thinking and asking questions and was a nice change of pace.  Nick Allen has a reputation for questioning authority and getting other students interested.  He is also very good at getting teachers off track.  When he tries this with his new fifth grade language arts teacher it backfires on him and he ends up with an extra report to do before the class about the topic of his question.  When he decides to invent a new word it spirals out into the community and the country in ways he never could have imagined.

My children loved that "frindle" meant pen and my two year old repeated it every time we heard it in the story.  Even though the age range was 8 to 12, my four year old had no trouble following the story.  I'm thinking part of the age range is the age of child who would be able to independently read the book, not comprehend it.  Part of what captivated my children so much was that someone not much older than they are could do something that would be noticed by the whole country.  I think it is hard for children and even adults to imagine doing something worthy of national attention, as Nick's creation of a new word was.  News stories were done locally and then blossomed to national news.  He became famous for using what he learned in school to create a new word.

In college I read one of Clements books for a class, The Landry News, and I recall enjoying it.  But I never got around to reading any of his other books.  I think I am going to have to look for them since my children enjoyed this one so much.

Product Details

Pub. Date: June 2009
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format: Compact Disc
Age Range: 8 to 12
ISBN-13: 9780743581707
ISBN: 0743581709

Monday, April 18, 2011

In My Mailbox #18

Yesterdays post was made up of books I bought at Borders, today I'm posting books that I actually got in the mail or bought at stores other than Borders.

The first two I found at the dollar store of all places.  I love Jennifer Estep's Elemental Assassin series and I'm excited to give this one a try:

Synopsis of Karma Girl:

The first “outrageously entertaining” (RACHEL GIBSON) Bigtime book from the author of Jinx.

After getting dumped by her crime-fighting fiance, reporter Carmen Cole starts exposing the country's most powerful heroes and villains. But when her life is threatened, she'll have to rely on the city's sexiest crime-buster to save her.

Synopsis of Hot Mama:

By day, Fiona Fine is a successful couture designer. By night, she’s Fiera, who can create and manipulate fire with her bare hands. Now, with two new ubervillains in town who are intent on raising hell, Fiona’s love life might just crash and burn.

The next two are from Paperbackswap:

It was not long after she turned 40 that Rhonda Janzen's husband left her for someone he met on and she suffered a car accident that left her with serious injuries. To cope, Rhonda Janzen returned to where she never thought she would: the Mennonite home she left as a young woman.

Written with wry humor and huge personality—and tackling faith, love, family, and aging—Mennonite in a Little Black Dress is an immensely moving memoir of healing, certain to touch anyone who has ever had to look homeward in order to move ahead.


When single attorney Steven Creed becomes guardian of an orphaned five-year-old boy, he trades his big-city law firm for a ranch near his McKettrick kin in the close-knit community of Stone Creek, Arizona. Taking care of little Matt and fixing up his run-down ranch house with its old barn loosens something tightly wound inside him. But when Steven takes on the pro bono defense of a local teen, he meets his match in the opposing counsel—beautiful, by-the-book county prosecutor Melissa O'Ballivan. It'll take one grieving little boy, a sweet adopted dog and a woman who never expected to win any man's heart to make this Creed in Stone Creek know he's truly found home.

The last one I won from Alexia's Books and Such.  While I already read this one from my local library, I am very excited to be able to add it to my book shelf to keep!  

Sunday, April 17, 2011

In My Mailbox 17

So I took a last trip to our local Border's store yesterday and once again found some new books.  I don't think I've even managed to post all of the ones I got last week or the week before, so today I am being a bit lazy and I am just going to list the titles.  Some of them were chosen by my children, but typically I end up reading those too!

1.  Winter Bloom by Tara Heavey
2.  The Inheritance Almanac: An A to Z Guide to the World of Eragon by Michael Macauley (never mind that they haven't read Eragon yet, I guess we'll be finding that at the library or a bookstore sometime soon!)
3.  Gossip Girl:  For Your Eyes Only by Cecily Von Ziegesar (a graphic novel) (odd choice since I've never seen the show, but I want to see how graphic novels and manga hold up when one is unfamiliar with the story they are based on)
4.  Matchless by Gregory Maguire
5.  The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire
6.  Jim Henson's Return to Labyrinth (another graphic novel/manga)
7.  Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
8.  My Fair Succubus by Jill Myles (currently on my wish list as I've read the first two books already)
9.  God's Guest List by Debbie Macomber (also from my wish list)
10.  Needles and Pearls by Gil MacNeil
11.  Treasure Map of Boys by E. Lockhart
12.  Star of Stone by P.D. Baccalario
13.  Blood Lite II: Overbite  multiple author anthology
14.  A Christmas Sampler:  Sweet, Funny, and Strange Holiday Tales by the Bethlehem Writers Group ( I know one of the authors in this anthology and I have meant to look for the book more than once, yesterday it was just there in front of me so I took it as a sign to get the book and give her story a try)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane by Suzanne Collins


Gregor learns of his role in another Underland prophecy, yet he swears he will never return to that place. But his vow crumbles when his little sister, Boots, is snatched. Gregor knows it is a ploy to lure him to the subterranean world, but he gives in and heads back underground, where he is reunited with his bat, Ares, the princess Luxa, and new allies. Together, they descend into the deadly Waterway in search of an ominous rat known as Bane. But Gregor must face the possibility of his greatest loss yet, and make life and death choices that will determine the future of the Underland.

My thoughts:
My daughter asked me if next time we start a series if we can read it in order and for a series like this I think she is right.  For some series it doesn't matter as much, but for this one it would have been better.  Having read books 3-5 first when we went back to 1 and 2 we already knew who would live and die and some of the twists and turns that were coming up.  We didn't know all the details, but it took away a lot of the element of surprise.

Gregor and Boots end up in the Underland for the second time when Boots is taken by a group of crawlers from Central Park where she and Gregor are sledding.  The crawlers take her to protect her from the rats.  Gregor follows and goes on a quest to find the Bane and kill him.  This is the book where the reader meets the lazy fireflies with the bottomless stomachs.

The Regalian's are not seen in the most favorable light in some of their dealings even among those in their city.   I kept watching to see if Solevet would show anything about her plans in this book, but she does not seem to give much of a hint of what is to come later in the series.

While we enjoyed listening to this, I would recommend reading this series in order.

Product Details

Pub. Date: December 2005
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Format: Compact Disc
Age Range: 9 to 12
Series: Underland Chronicles Series , #2
ISBN-13: 9780307282682
ISBN: 0307282686

Friday, April 15, 2011

Wonder Woman 601 Writer: J. Michael Straczynski Artists: Don Kramer & Eduardo Pansica

Publisher: DC Comics

Writer: J. Michael Straczynski
Artists: Don Kramer & Eduardo Pansica
Covers: Don Kramer, Alex Garner

My thoughts:
This is the second comic book in the all new story line that was started last summer.  Diana is a young woman being raised in the world of men and is still coming into her powers.  In the prologue from the first issue she went to see the Oracle to ask her some questions about the past.  The Oracle takes Diana back to the island where she lived with her mother and shows her how their civilization ended.  Diana was a little girl and was sent away to keep her safe, but her mother refused to leave her people without their queen.

During the fight that followed the Amazonian's on the island were fighting with swords and armor as their attackers had helicopters and machine guns.  After their defeat, Queen Hippolyta was forced to watch as the wounded were killed and then the man in charge (who is never clearly seen but always in shadows) attempts to use the lasso of truth to find out the location of Diana.

Diana sees all this and then vows to uphold her promise to protect her people who had been dispatched from the island when the end was coming near.  During one sequence she falls asleep and dreams of herself in the costume we all know and love.  The Oracle keeps talking about how this is how she is now but not how she has always been.  Does that mean this storyline is really taking place or is it metaphysical, how there are all different realities going on at the same time and she is just experiencing a different reality but the other reality is still somewhere inside her remembered?

I don't know how comics usually go about keeping the characters fresh as years pass and things change. Wonder Woman has been around since the 1940's and must have gone through multiple changes in that time.  Is this just par for the course?  Does each episode always end with a to be continued type of ending?  Wonder Woman is the only character I ever made any effort to read or get to know so maybe different characters are done differently.  It did make me want to read the next issue to find out if she manages to save the pocket of survivors who were in hiding.  It seems like once I get caught up to the most current issue it could be frustrating to wait for the next one.  I wonder if I will be able to maintain my interest during the time between issues.

 Issue 600

Wonder Woman Burning Devastastion

Thursday, April 14, 2011


My thoughts:
Last summer Wonder Woman got a face-lift in comic books.  A lot of things are changed up in this comic book and there is a lot of extra content in the issue.  In between each of the short stories are illustrations of Wonder Woman in various versions of her costume.  There are five different short story lines told with the last one being the opening for the new series.  Growing up I thought that Wonder Woman was the only female superhero, but in this issue she fights alongside of a ton of female heroes that I have never heard of.  I do not know if they are made up for this issue or if they were there all along and I  never took the time to seek them out.

In the story at the end that leads into the new series Diana was rescued from her island as an infant before her mother died and was taken underground to be raised by other Amazons.  She is still coming into her powers and seems to be in her late teens or early twenties and is questioning why she must stay hidden and why men are always chasing and trying to kill her.  She meets with the Oracle, who looks like a teenager in fishnet tights, a tight tank top and leather jacket.  The Oracle begins to show her where she came from and tell her details about the past that she does not know.

The beginning of the issue starts with a forward from Lynda Carter who starred as Wonder Woman on TV when she was in her twenties.  I grew up watching the series and playing Wonder Woman with my sister.  Wonder Woman was about more than fighting, she showed and can continue to show women how to be strong and capable in their own lives.

At the end of the issue there is a section from the two artists on their design and storyline.  It was interesting to read how they came to their new vision for the character and how they made this a reboot story, making it so that a rift occurred in the timeline twenty years ago so that Diana would be in the world as we see it now and made her costume more street appropriate.  They wanted to change Wonder Woman from the feel of being an older character like someones mother or grandmother, into a relatible young person today.  I am reading this new series from the beginning so I will be posting my thoughts on each issue as I get to it.  Then I managed to collect a lot of back issues so I have those to go to once I finish the most current ones.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Beside Still Waters by Tricia Goyer


Despite initial presumptions, a young Amish woman’s reluctant move across the country with her family to escape Englisch influences results not in lost love but deep spiritual discoveries.

Tricia Goyer is an acclaimed and prolific writer, publishing hundreds of articles in national magazines including Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family while authoring more than twenty-five fiction and nonfiction books combined. Among those are 3:16 Teen Edition with Max Lucado and the American Christian Fiction Writers’ Book of the Year Award winners Night Song and Dawn of a Thousand Nights. She has also written books on marriage and parenting and contributed notes to the Women of Faith Study Bible. Tricia lives with her husband and four children in Montana.

My thoughts:
I received this book as part of a Litfuse blog tour for honest review purposes.  For awhile now I have been curious about Amish life.  Growing up my family used to occasionally visit my aunt and uncle who live near Lancaster.  I recall seeing people riding in a horse and buggy for the first time on one of our visits and hving a lot of questions about why they were traveling that way and also wondering if it was safe with all the cars and traffic.  At the start of this novel a young family is traveling home at night in a horse and buggy.  There are two little girls asleep in the back while a pregnant mother holds a little boy in the front with her husband.  With all of his passengers asleep, the father is feeling sleepy too and accidently drifts off.  The buggy is hit by a truck and the two girls are killed and the mother goes into premature labor.  This is how Marianna, the main character, starts her life within her Amish family.

This one tragedy puts a lot of other things into motion for this family.  After the prologue the story starts back up with Marianna at the age of nineteen.  Mari and her family live in Indiana in a very close Amish community.  Everyone watches each other to make sure that they are following the laws and are behaving appropriately, but the watching is to the point of being suffocating.  I've always had this picture of Amish people as being very religious and ready to help one another, which they were in this book, but at the same time it was almost as if they are afraid to do anything except in the predescribved way because everyone else will be talking about it.  For years Mari's mother got up super early so her wash could be on the line first thing in the morning so all her neighbors would see that she was doing her duty to her family.  Mari feels that she needs to try to take the place of the two sisters she lost in the accident and goes out of her way to try to be perfect.  A hearbreak for the family is that Levi, Mari's older brother, has chosen to leave the community and to live out in society.  Not only are they heartbroken about this, but they feel shame from the rest of community for this.

Mari's Uncle Ike convinces her parents that they should move to Montana for a while and they decide to go.  Mari is conflicted becuase she has always thought that she would be being batised into the church adn getting ready to marry Aaron.  She decides, however, that it is her duty to go with her pregnant mother to help her settle into her new home and to help her younger siblings (three boys and one girl with another on the way) get accustomed to their new home. 

Montana has a different feel to it.  The Amish community is smaller, but still works together and other members of the community are juist as likely to lend a hand and be charitable which really surprised Mari.  Her idea of what people are like outside of the Amish comminity is set on its ear.  Her old neighbors and friends keep hearing gossip and tidbits about how relaxced the rules are in Montanta nad worry that they will be led astray and might not be able to find their way back to God.

Mari becomes frinds with Ben, who is not Amish, and feels very conflicted about what to do with this relationship.  She has grown up feeling that to be close to God one must follow the Amish church, but at the smae time she is meeting people who act as if God is their friend.  Ben reads his Bible regularly and prays outloud.  He goes out of his way to help people who need his help.  She questions whether his way to communicate with God is just as acceptabel to God as her own.

The author did a good job making Mari a real person.  She is dealing with mich of the same questions and concerns as any other nineteen year old (minus those related to technology) and she is doing it with grace.

Product Details

Pub. Date: April 2011
Publisher: B&H Publishing Group
Format: Paperback , 320pp
ISBN-13: 9781433668685
ISBN: 1433668688

To celebrate the release of the first book in the Big Sky Amish series Tricia is giving away 10 copies of Beside Still Waters and a pair of super cute antique Amish salt & pepper shakers.
Details at Tricia’s blog, It’s Real Life:

BONUS! Each person who enters the giveaway will receive a FABULOUS Montana Amish Calendar. Hurry, it’s only available while supplies last!

Blog Tour Schedule


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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In My Mailbox 16


All Alison ever wanted was a blissful childhood for her six children, with summers at the beach and birthday parties on the lawn at their family home. Together with Ingrid, the family au pair, she has worked hard to create a real "old-fashioned family life." But beneath its postcard sheen, the picture is clouded by a distant father, Alison's inexplicable emotional outbursts, and long-repressed secrets that no one dares mention. For years, Alison's adult children have protected her illusion of domestic perfection but as each child confronts the effects of past choices on their current adult lives, it becomes evident that each must face the truth.

Penelope Lively's novels of history, memory, and character have earned her a loyal legion of fans. Like Ian McEwan's Atonement, this novel is a measured, thoughtful look at how events of the past, both small and large, seen and unseen, deeply inform character and the present. Quietly provocative and disturbing...


Donna Grant’s Dark Sword series draws you into a dazzling world of Druids and dark magic, as three brothers battle to overcome an ancient curse—and find the women who are their destiny…

A dangerous secret

Fallon McLeod has gifts any warrior would covet—fierce strength, unmatched skill, even immortality. But those gifts have come at a price that puts everyone he loves at risk. Only when his brother, Quinn, is taken captive does Fallon leave the seclusion of his Highland home to seek the king’s aid. And though every woman at court would gladly be his for the asking, one alone causes desire to roar to life within him: beautiful, mysterious Larena Monroe.

A wild desire

Rumors swirl around the castle about “The McLeod” but Larena knows the truth. Like Fallon, Larena is searching for a way to vanquish the evil Druid who wants to wreak havoc on earth. Drawn to Fallon in spite of her fear, she surrenders to a passion that shocks them both with its raw intensity. But Larena dares not hope for more—not when she holds a secret that could turn her fiery Highland love against her forever…


The Dark Sword series unleashes the magic, passion, and fury of three legendary brothers—cursed by fate but bound by desire for the women they love…


The most reckless and fierce of the MacLeod brothers, Quinn is a prisoner of the god inside him, tormented by his inability to save his family from slaughter. His fury governs him, and day by day he loses himself to the darkenss in his soul. But Quinn has a profound yearning for a woman’s love….


Raised by Druids, the achingly beautiful Marcail is as spellbinding as the ancient magic that surges through her body. To Quinn, she is most desirable woman he has ever known. But to his enemy Deirdre, she is the perfect bait to lure Quinn into her trap. Once the two lovers are in her wicked grasp, their passion will be put to the ultimate test…


"All my songs tell a story. But this one’s special. My first novel. A story about Jade. Her search for real love, her one-eyed mutt, hippie mother, and quirky vintage shop." -Sara Evans

Publishers Weekly
In this heartwarming collaborative debut from country music star Evans and Christian romance veteran Hauck (Sweet Caroline), antique dealer Jade Freedom Fitzgerald of Whisper Hollow, Tenn., must make peace with her hippy mama, Beryl Hill, before she can marry her lawyer fiancé, Maxwell Charles Benson. But wait, there's more: she also needs an annulment from an elopement at 16, to resolve her anger at the father who abandoned her, to learn how to get along with a pushy mom-in-law-to-be and take responsibility for a dire choice she made 13 years before. The arrival of Jade's mother and her tempestuous little sister, Willow, before the big day shakes things up further, especially after Beryl reveals an unhappy secret of her own. Comforting in that Southern way and inspirational without being too saccharine, Evans and Hauck's first outing together shows promise. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Notes Left Behind by Brooke and Keith Desserich


Wise beyond her years, six-year-old Elena Desserich never stopped teaching those around her to appreciate the miracle of everyday living, even as she battled a rare form of brain cancer.

Notes Left Behind tells a story of humility and inspiration. Through personal and candid journal entries they wrote as a remembrance for Elena's younger sister, Brooke and Keith Desserich share their emotional journey as a family, along with the private notes Elena hid around the house for them to discover after she was gone. Heartbreaking, moving, and inspiring, Elena's notes show us how, even during the darkest moments of life, it is possible to find hope and encouragement though selfless love.

My thoughts:
This book sucked me in from the beginning and I had a really hard time putting it down.  While at times it was hard to read about the struggles these parents went through while making difficult decisions for their daughters medical care, it also showed the joy they were able to find in the moments they had with both of their girls.  The whole family came off the page in these journal entries and became real.  Even knowing the eventual outcome I kept rooting for them to beat the odds and find the treatment that would work.

Elena was a little girl who loved all things pink, reading books and going to kindergarten.  She had a joy for life and loved her family.  The brain cancer she developed was a tumor that took things away from her like her ability to speak, walk, see and use her right hand.  Her family spent time with specialists and flew to far away hospitals to get her the care that was deemed best for this cancer.  They tried their best to grant her wishes as well.  Elena's whole extended family went to Disney World with her, she swam with dolphins and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower at her local amusement park. 

It was inspiring to see how much time these two parents put into spending with their children.  It can be so easy to get caught up in the pull of all the little things in life like laundry and dishes and getting sucked into mindless TV, but what if your time is even more limited than you realize?  It makes me wonder if I will regret not reading one more bedtime story or taking five more minutes at the park.  What about the time I spent reading a book or on the computer when I could have been spending time with my children, will I regret it later on?  There needs to be a balance and when you know the number of tomorrows available to you has a much sooner expiration date than you would like that balance can tip more to one side than the other. 

Part of what made this story hard was seeing Elena improve and seem to be getting better only to have the next MRI show that the tumor was getting worse.  It was wonderful that she was granted some more time when she was functioning and able to enjoy life, but it made it almost harder to see her then lose all that progress again not once but multiple times.

Elena's story is a reminder to live life to the fullest.  We never know how long we have and loved ones mean so much more than anything else.

Product Details

Pub. Date: October 2010
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Paperback , 250pp
ISBN-13: 9780061886409
ISBN: 0061886408

Sunday, April 10, 2011

We Are In a Book! by Mo Willems


A 2011 Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book

In the 13th installment in the Elephant & Piggie series, Gerald and Piggie discover the joy of being read! But what will happen when the book ends!?

When Piggie discovers that she and Gerald are in a book and she can make the reader say a funny word out loud, Gerald is tickled pink. But then Gerald realizes that the book is going to end soon—ack! What will happen then? Gerald just wants to be read!! As always, level-headed Piggie has an idea: she will ask the reader to start the book again. Using vocabulary perfect for beginning readers, Mo Willems has crafted a mind-bending Elephant & Piggie story that is more interactive than ever.

My thoughts:
There is just something about Elephant and Piggie that children love! The stories are simple but fun and the word bubbles or speech bubbles are a great way to teach and differentiate who is speaking. I read this book to both of my preschool classes and to my own children. I loved that when I left the book out at school for the students to look at they were reading it themselves and for the most part remembered the story! They requested to hear it again and laughed just as much during the second reading as during the first. I had no idea this was the 13th book in the series. My own children own 3 or 4 of them but I guess we'll have to hit up the library to look for some of the others.

In this story the characters figure out that someone is reading them and that they can make the reader say a word by saying it themselves and their funny word is ....Bananas! Not so funny to an adult but to children it is hilarious. Then when they figure out that the book is going to end they ask the reader to read them again. This reminded me of a Little Golden Book we have with Grover in it called There is a Monster at the End of the Book. Grover is so scared of the monster that he tries over and over again to get the reader to stop turning the pages only to discover that he is the monster at the end of the book. Anything that gets kids reading and excited about books is something I can't wait to tell other teachers and parents about!

Product Details

Pub. Date: September 2010
Publisher: Hyperion
Format: Hardcover , 64pp
Age Range: 4 to 8
Series: Elephant and Piggie Series
ISBN-13: 9781423133087
ISBN: 1423133080

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ants In Your Pants,Worms In Your Plants! (Gilbert Goes Green) by Diane deGroat


Gilbert has trouble coming up with ideas. First he couldn't think of a springtime poem, and now he needs an idea for an Earth Day project! Everyone else in Mrs. Byrd's class is busy working on posters about recycling and saving water and electricity, but Gilbert wants to do something original. A distressing class picnic inspires him, and he comes up with an Earth Day project that even Mrs. Byrd thinks is the best idea yet.

With vivid, lively illustrations and a timely story about how kids really can help the world around them, Diane deGroat shows readers of all ages that sometimes the simplest solutions are right in our own backyards!

My thoughts:
My children and I discovered Gilbert one year at Thanksgiving.  Since then we have enjoyed each of the books from the series.  Earth Day is later this month so when I saw this book sitting with the new books at our local library we decided to borrow it.  Gilbert and his class decide to go on a picnic lunch because the weather is so nice, but when they get to the picnic spot the trees have been cut down, the grass is brown and there is trash all over the place.  This inspires Mrs. Byrd to assign an Earth Day project about what the children can do to make the planet a better place.  Gilbert's classmates come up with recycling, using a clothes line, riding a bike instead of walking, composting and turning out the lights but he wants to come up with something that is all his own.  He has a hard time coming up with an original idea and gets frustrated but then it comes to him, he can plant a tree at the picnic spot.

I think doing things to save energy and reduce waste are so important.  If we can get children in the mindset from an early age to recycle and conserve, we are taking a step towards living better and taking better care of the planet.  I hate seeing things in the trash that could have been recycled or donated just because it is easier to throw them out,  I like to get as much use out of each item as I can and try to take care to donate things that still can be used but that I know my family is done with.  On trash day this week we had twice as much recycling as we did trash.  I'd like to reduce how much waste we have period, weather trash or recycling, but I am proud of the strides we've made as a family to recycle the items we can in our community.

Product Details

Pub. Date: February 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Format: Hardcover , 32pp
Age Range: 4 to 8
ISBN-13: 9780061765117
ISBN: 0061765112

Friday, April 8, 2011

Hector and the Search for Happiness by Francois Lelord


A charming fable about modern life that has touched the hearts of more than two million readers worldwide. Hector’s journey around the world and into the human soul is entertaining, empowering, and smile inducing—as winning in its optimism as it is powerful in its insight and reassuring in its simplicity.

My thoughts:
Hector is psychiatrist who treats a lot of patients who are unhappy, but often times for no real reason.  Listening to them tell of their dissatisfaction with life because they do not have as much as others seems to starts to get to Hector so he goes on a trip around the world to research what makes people happy.  He makes a list of what he finds that makes people happy.  Early on in his trip he visits a monk.  After they talk the monk tells him to come back when he has finished his trip and figured out happiness.  Along the way Hector meets friends he knows in other countries and also befriends some new people.

While talking to friends and strangers about happiness, he sees that often times comparing ones self to others brings about unhappiness.  He has friend in Japan who is obsessed with earning 6 million dollars, who works long hours every day and drinks too much, but is always worried that other people are ahead of him.  At the same time there are women who meet on the street outside of their restaurant who are talking and laughing and enjoying themselves.  They are women who have come from poorer villages to clean the offices in the city, but on Sunday they do not work and do not have the extra money to go somewhere, so they set up oilcloths on the sides of the street and gather to talk and enjoy one anothers company.  These women have so much less than the businessman, but they have friend and family and time to be happy.

In California he meets a scientist who has created a machine which can measure happiness in people's brains based on what they are doing or thinking about.  He sees that his list of attributes for happiness align with a number of studies done by medical professionals.  But it turns out the smart scientist is still unhappy because the woman he has feelings for has feelings for someone else.

Happiness is feeling useful, belonging to a family, not comparing oneself to others and having a tie to a religious group among many other factors.  What Hector discovers during his travels is that he really does love his girlfriend and that he is ready to make more of a commitment to her.

Happiness is such a hard thing to measure that I thought this book would be interesting to read.  It was short and it was simple, but at times it was almost too simple.  I would have liked the author to have just said some of the passages instead of meandering around them.  I saw that there is to be or is already a sequel to this book, but I am not sure I will be in a hurry to find and read it.  I did not dislike this one, but it didn't grab me the way I thought it would.
Product Details

Pub. Date: August 2010
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Format: Paperback , 192pp
ISBN-13: 9780143118398
ISBN: 0143118390

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pale Demon by Kim Harrison


Condemned and shunned for black magic, Rachel Morgan has three days to get to the annual witches’ conference and clear her name, or be trapped in the demonic ever-after . . . forever after.

But a witch, an elf, a living vampire, and a pixy in one car going across the country? Talk about a recipe for certain disaster, even without being the targets for assassination.

For after centuries of torment, a fearsome demon walks in the sunlight—freed at last to slay the innocent and devour their souls. But his ultimate goal is Rachel Morgan, and in the fight for survival that follows, even embracing her own demonic nature may not be enough to save her.

My thoughts:
I've mentioned this before with this series, for some reason I really related to the relationship between Rachel and Kisten and when he died I almost had to give the series up.  I had a hard time with the last few books because a part of me felt that with his death the series had ended.  This book brought me back around.  It sounds so silly in print, that I would be so upset by the death of a character, but for some reason it really affected me which is a tribute to Harrison's writing, that I was able to feel so deeply for a character written onto the page.  I have wondered for a bit where she was going with Rachel being a demon and again, this book revealed where she is going and a lot more.

This is book nine in the series and I have read them all.  When I first discovered the series I read all the books in order and then as new books have come out I have read them too.  Sometimes I feel like I have forgotten some of who is who and what has happened.  Part of why I love discovering series that have been around for a while is that I can read all the books in order and then everything is clear and read sequentially so there are no confusions about characters.

In this installment Rachel's trip to the west coast is complicated by the fact that she cannot fly, she is detained when she gets to the airport and finds that she will not be allowed to fly for her meeting with the coven but must drive across the country to get there in time.  Added to that, Trent wishes to drive with them across the country so he can go on an elf quest.  Bis, her resident gargoyle at the church, has started waking up during the day and calling her when he feels Rachel tapping a ley line, and Jenks and Ivy are also along for the ride.  Along the way a day walking demon is freed, some destruction occurs, Rachel comes to know more about herself and her abilities, and Jenk's is kidnapped by a group of pixies.  The book is full of action and, while long, utilizes the entirety to tell the story.

I wasn't sure how I would feel about the way Harrison wrapped up this installment, but I like it and feel it will add to the next book in the series.  At the bottom of this review I included links to my reviews for books 7 and 8.  Book 7 was one of the first I reviewed when I started my blog!

Product Details

Pub. Date: February 2011
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Format: Hardcover , 439pp
Series: Rachel Morgan Series , #9
ISBN-13: 9780061138065
ISBN: 0061138061

White Witch, Black Curse Book #7
Black Magic Sanction Book #8

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Twilight: The Graphic Novel Vol 1 by Stephenie Meyers Art and Adaptation by Young Kim


When Isabella Swan moves to the gloomy town of Forks and meets the mysterious, alluring Edward Cullen, her life takes a thrilling and terrifying turn. With his porcelain skin, golden eyes, mesmerizing voice, and supernatural gifts, Edward is both irresistible and impenetrable. Up until now, he has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Bella is determined to uncover his dark secret...

Beautifully rendered, this first installment of Twilight: The Graphic Novel is a must-have for any collector's library.

My thoughts:
I am really starting to get into graphic novels.  So far I have only read graphic novels and manga books of books I've already read, so I don't know if they will be the same when I try something that is totally new, but they are fun to read and really quick.  One thing I don't like is that they do not seem to have page numbers.  When I get into reading but know it is time to put the book down I will sometimes give myself a few more pages or read to the end of a chapter, but with graphic novels that doesn't really work so well.  There never seems to be a good place to stop so I just keep going and find out that I've stayed up too late.

Bella and Edward are different than i pictured them and different than the movie version as well, but they hold true to the emotions and scenes from the book.  Honestly I have pretty much lost my own picture of the characters since the movies came out, it is hard to maintain my own images when there are people playing the characters.  While the characters may not look as I expected them to, they are really nicely done. 

Since I doubt there are many readers out there who haven't read the series or at least seen the movies, I'm not going to waste much time really reviewing the story.  This volume only gets up to the point where Edward shows Bella what happens when he goes out in the sun and how he can run really fast.  Meyer's website does not give a release date for a second volume so I don't know if that means it is still in the works or plans for it have been scrapped.  It does state that an illustrated guide is coming out in 5 days.  Maybe work on that took the place of work on a second volume, I don't know.

Product Details

Pub. Date: March 2010
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Format: Hardcover , 200pp
Age Range: Young Adult
Series: Twilight Saga Series
ISBN-13: 9780759529434
ISBN: 0759529434

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins


When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.

My thoughts:
As we were listening to this book I really started to wish that we had started at the beginning of the series.  A lot of the suspense in this one was ruined because, having read books three through five, there weren't too many surprises.  On the first quest that Gregor undertakes the Prophesy of Gray states that only eight will return but instead of wondering who was going to perish on the trip my children were wondering when it was going to happen.  I could hear them in the back saying, "Well we know  ___ is going to die, do you think it will happen now?".  We also had a different perspective on the book.

While the same narrator was doing the reading he was doing some of the voices different than he does in later books.  Ripred sounded totally different.  My husband was along with us for a trip and asked what was wrong with Ripred's voice because it was so noticibly different than later on.  I prefer the later on voice, but I don't know if that is because it is the voice we first heard for him.

I know some readers aren't fans of series, but I like getting to know characters and then seeing them grow and change and I think for young readers they are a great hook to get children interested and invested in reading.  My son checked out Gregor books this week at the library and he is trying to stay ahead of where we are in the book in the car.  In my mind, anything that motivates him to read and have fun with it is a good thing!

Product Details

Pub. Date: December 2005
Publisher: Random House Audio Publishing Group
Format: Compact Disc
Age Range: 9 to 12
Series: Underland Chronicles Series , #1
ISBN-13: 9780307282699
ISBN: 0307282694
Edition Description: Unabridged

Monday, April 4, 2011

In My Mailbox 15

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren.

I am behind on posting my new books, just like I am behind on reading them too!  Here are some new books I bought this week or got on Paperbackswap.


“I didn’t decide to become anorexic. It snuck up on me disguised as a healthy diet, a professional attitude. Being as thin as possible was a way to make the job of being an actress easier . . .”

Portia de Rossi weighed only 82 pounds when she collapsed on the set of the Hollywood film in which she was playing her first leading role. This should have been the culmination of all her years of hard work—first as a child model in Australia, then as a cast member of one of the hottest shows on American television. On the outside she was thin and blond, glamorous and successful. On the inside, she was literally dying.

In this searing, unflinchingly honest book, Portia de Rossi captures the complex emotional truth of what it is like when food, weight, and body image take priority over every other human impulse or action. She recounts the elaborate rituals around eating that came to dominate hours of every day, from keeping her daily calorie intake below 300 to eating precisely measured amounts of food out of specific bowls and only with certain utensils. When this wasn’t enough, she resorted to purging and compulsive physical exercise, driving her body and spirit to the breaking point.

Even as she rose to fame as a cast member of the hit television shows Ally McBeal and Arrested Development, Portia alternately starved herself and binged, all the while terrified that the truth of her sexuality would be exposed in the tabloids. She reveals the heartache and fear that accompany a life lived in the closet, a sense of isolation that was only magnified by her unrelenting desire to be ever thinner. With the storytelling skills of a great novelist and the eye for detail of a poet, Portia makes transparent as never before the behaviors and emotions of someone living with an eating disorder.

From her lowest point, Portia began the painful climb back to a life of health and honesty, falling in love with and eventually marrying Ellen DeGeneres, and emerging as an outspoken and articulate advocate for gay rights and women’s health issues.

In this remarkable and beautifully written work, Portia shines a bright light on a dark subject. A crucial book for all those who might sometimes feel at war with themselves or their bodies, Unbearable Lightness is a story that inspires hope and nourishes the spirit.



Tall, blond, and willowy, this twenty-two-year-old seems to have everything going for her—she’s rich and gorgeous, a talented singer, and has just returned to her Park Avenue penthouse after a year studying in Paris. But since her mother’s tragic death years ago, her father, an extremely successful financier, has been her only family—and if she’s being honest, her only true friend.

All that changes when Jacob Williams is arrested on charges of fraud, and the SEC freezes the family’s bank accounts. With her father in jail and her partying pals suddenly scarce, Charlotte escapes Manhattan and heads to the one place she doesn’t think anyone will come looking: New Orleans.

Determined to rebuild her life, Charlotte moves in with her beloved former nanny and finds a job in a local restaurant. Between trying to make ends meet and hiding from her past, she meets Kat, a fellow fashionista who introduces her to the best of the Big Easy’s bohemian style. With Kat by her side, Charlotte begins to haunt nightclubs, securing singing gigs that soon begin to heat up—as does her friendship with a local boy, Jackson.

But Charlotte’s being followed by an angry stalker who wants nothing more than to destroy her for her father’s crimes. And with Mardi Gras just around the corner, the masquerade has only just begun . . .

From the stylish avenues of Manhattan and dark clubs of the French Quarter to the bright lights of Los Angeles, the multi talented Nicole Richie’s scintillating tale shows that the very life you run from is the one that won’t let you hide.


Award-winning writer Nancy Butler, adapter of Marvel's best-selling adaptation of PRIDE & PREJUDICE, returns to Marvel with another Jane Austen classic: SENSE & SENSIBILITY! Alongside incredible artist Sonny Liew (MY FAITH IN FRANKIE, WONDERLAND), Butler brings to life the world of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, two daughters without parents or means, forced to experience hardship, romance, and heartbreak, all in the hopes of achieving love and lasting happiness.


The new king of Camelot wears no shining armor: Arthur and his knights have fallen and a new king rules.

In the darkest forest...

A scared, forsaken youth has become the most powerful—and feared—man in the world. Ruthless and unrestrained, Kerrigan has long ceased to be human.

In the heart of London...

A spirited peasant mired in drudgery, Seren dreams of becoming her own woman, but never expects that by fleeing her fate, she will meet her destiny.

Their worlds are forever changed...

Kerrigan's goal is simple: barter or kill Seren to claim Arthur's Round Table. Yet she is the one person who holds no fear of him. More than that, her nobility sparks something foreign inside him. In his nether realm, kindness is weakness and a king who harbors any sort of compassion loses his throne.

For countless centuries, Kerrigan has lived alone in the shadows. Now Seren's courage has forced him into the light that will bring either salvation to both of them...or death.

I've finished three books that are awaiting review this week:
Pale Demon by Kim Harrison
Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins
Twilight The Graphic Novel Volume 1 by Stephenie Meyer